And So It Went, Swimmingly

Monday, January 9, 2012

The Youngster had his first swim class over the weekend. And, to quote my husband, it went swimmingly well. (Bad-dum-bum.)

Our wee guy had a grand time and talked happily about returning next week. All of this was met with deep sighs. Both parents had been practically holding all breath leading up to the 9:30 a.m. class. We were both on eggshells, these two grown-ups, worried about what might happen, what might not happen, and what might become an all-out disaster. He could run screaming from the locker room. Refuse to go in the water. Kick and flail and fight his dad when he actually does agree to venture in. Have a potty slip-up in the pool. Become so upset that he vomits in the water, sending the other grossed-out kids jumping out of the pool absolutely terrified, and the Management asking us to leave and never return. OK. That last one was a tad dramatic, but I’d bet at least five bucks that one parent has thought this could really happen.

Well, none of it happened. We basically psyched ourselves out. So wrapped up in our ideas that this could be such Bad Idea Jeans that we didn’t leave enough room for this: it could be great.

I actually felt a small wave of nerves as we drove up to the place. And when QB asked me, as I helped him out of his car seat, whether the water would be cold or warm? I was thisclose to calling out: That’s it! Pack it in, team. This isn’t going to work. Let’s just go home. (The water was quite warm, by the way and thankfully.)

It made me think about this “brace yourself” approach we parents often take with the many new things our kids face. Maybe let the thing play out. Let it just happen, unencumbered by our soggy expectations. Let’s take our shoulders out of ears, release that breath we’re holding, and allow for the possibility that it could actually be fun. It could be refreshing … much like a warm water swim.

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