I put Abby in swimming lessons. You have to understand a few things for this post to make sense.
1. I taught swimming lessons when I was a teenager. Every summer for many summers… until I got fired for not showing up. That’s a whole other story but I eventually went back to teaching at the same place. I can’t believe they hired me back but the point is, I taught and now I’m letting someone else teach my child.
2. I’m terribly afraid of my kids being in water. Ever since an incident where I let Abby walk off in a baby pool a few feet when she was 15 months old and she fell into the water and wasn’t tall enough to stand up on her own and was face down sputtering and I was basically totally scared that she would die. Now I sit by the bathtub the whole time. I whole their hands near any body of water and you couldn’t get me to let go if my life depended on it.
Abby is now 3. She is perfectly capable of learning to swim. Of course, I wanted to document this epic event with pictures and a great blog about the virtues of having your child learn to swim. I packed up the camera, her bathing suit, a towel and we were off to the first lesson. I took her into the pool area and immediately found out what a crazy mom I am. I could barely let her sit on the edge of the pool without holding my hand. The teacher was there. She was watching. I knew it would be ok but I was scared. I acted like I was totally fine. I know how to be a good swimming mom. However, I underestimated my presence as a distraction. As a teacher, I always hated those moms that hung out by the pool watching their child’s every move because their kids were basically being given permission to FREAK OUT and not learn a darn thing. All I wanted was a few pictures but Abby screamed, kicked and then threw up on her teacher from shear freak-out-ness. I realized that I just needed to leave. Therefore, I didn’t get any good pictures and this blog is going to be photoless. However, I did learn that I need to remember! I need to remember what it was like to be that teacher. I need to remember what it was like to be a kid and wanting to do something without my mother hanging over my shoulder, not that she ever did. (You were awesome, mom.)
Anyway, what I’m saying is, LET GO! I’m saying this to myself and any other person who is holding on. Someday, you are going to have to let someone else teach them something because they just won’t take it from you. (My mother is an artist and I didn’t learn any of my drawing skills from her. Not because she is a bad teacher but because I was a bad student – for her. My room mate in academy taught me how to do portraits.) So that’s just how it is. Somedays, sometimes there are going to be things that you need to let them learn from someone other than you and that’s a hard step to take for the first time. I’m sure after that it will get easier as I learn to enjoy a latte for half and hour while Abby’s in a swimming lesson.