Monday, July 21, 2008

HEADING INTO DEEPER WATERS

There are certain points in your kids’ lives when as a parent, you feel as though you just saw them get a little older or more mature, right before your eyes. It is as though you blink, and all of sudden, there is a metamorphosis that you knew would happen sooner or later, but weren't quite expecting at that particular moment. Many times, it is something that happens that to most anyone else who was observing would be quite unobtrusive....something that would barely register a blip on the radar. To a parent though, it is often one of those moments that brings conflicted joy - - - happiness because you are so proud of your child, yet a little sadness because it provides yet another visible milestone that points out to you that your baby isn't such a baby anymore.

I had one such moment yesterday. Chris and the kids and I had gone to my cousin's house to swim for the afternoon. The kids both love swimming and had a ball playing in the water. Aleita is finally tall enough this year to stand in the shallow end, which to her, is in an accomplishment in itself. My big surprise, however, came from Maggie. This summer, she has been attending a summer program at our church. Nearly every day, they go to the town pool from 1 - 3PM in the afternoon. Apparently, my little girl who used to be so afraid of the water and never wanted to get her face wet has overcome her fears during her time spent at the pool.

Yesterday, I couldn't believe how well she was swimming....this from the child who refused to even get her face wet. Maggie took two sets of swimming lessons at the YMCA. During the second set of lessons, she locked up her brakes and refused to go any further once they got to the point that they were jumping in the pool from the side, even though it was where she could touch. She wanted nothing to do with something that would force her to get her face wet.

Yet there was my daughter yesterday, playing and splashing around in the water as though she had never screamed at me a few years back when I tried to convince her to jump in the pool during her lesson. I simply couldn't fathom that this was the same child - surely this couldn't be the girl who had clung to me in fear and cried until I promised that she would no longer have to do swim lessons. She was swimming so well, that I allowed her to swim in the deep end of the pool with me. I swam beside her, amazed that she showed absolutely no fear. By the end of the afternoon, she was jumping off the diving board and swimming a good five or six feet underwater before surfacing and swimming all the way to the shallow end. Who was this kid?

Yes, my heart swelled for Maggie as I watched her find that confidence that she had for so long lacked when it came to the water. The beaming grin on her face absolutely shown with unabashed pride. As I watched her self-assurance grow with each jump, I was impressed with her emerging water aptitude, yet it also made me realize that she is growing up right before my eyes. My pride was abounding, yet bittersweet. Her increasing self-sufficiency is sometimes hard for this mom to take.

4 comments:

Julianne said...

Go Maggie! My memory of her "swimming" comes from our Gatlinburg trip in which she was standing in the water (that was only waist deep) with an innertube around her, clutching the wall for dear life. She's come a long way!

Now, can she come give Truman some lessons?

Anonymous said...

I loved reading about this.

Unca Bunca

Jacquelyn Byrne said...

Oh, I can so identify! I had this same rush of emotion as I watched Kate pedal down the street on her two-wheeled bike. She was totally confident and I couldn't believe it was the same kid that had clutched to me in fear just a few short weeks ago.

papadale said...

Welcome to the beginning, her 1st date is this Friday, she graduates from H.S. in 3 weeks, and I think I just heard wedding bells. It's all too sweet to describe, but, aging still sucks.