"It was a rough first day, but they'll be swimming like mermaids by the end of the week," said Ms. M with a smile as we pulled our drenched and sobbing little girls into our arms after the first day of swim lessons.
I wasn't so sure. I wasn't even sure I'd take her back after Faith telling me, "The first time she tried to put me under water I fighted her." Say whaaa? When she was trying to put you under water?!?!?! I had to remind myself I had sought out this "swim whisperer" and that she was recommended to me by people I trust, people who love Faith.
Faith woke up the second day and happily announced "Today I have swim lessons again!" But as we got closer to her house, Faith started making excuses why she didn't need to go today. I was just as anxious as she was. My stomach was churning and I thought I was going to puke. I pulled into a parking lot and we prayed for Faith, the other little girl, and the teacher, too. When I dropped her off she held onto me so tightly I couldn't pull her off. Ms. M had to pry her off of me as I was NO LIE whispering in her ear "God hasn't given us a spirit of fear." (I swear, I'm not a weirdo holy roller.) I'm typically on the other side of that maneuver. I'm usually the one that gets to hold the child, make them feel comfortable and loved and safe. Boy, did I get a lesson in perspective that I need to remember come August.
The other mom and I stood outside the gate crying together. Two moms from completely different walks of life, one in business attire and the other in jeans and flops (guess which one I am, guys?), bonded together in the moment of motherhood. Knowing it's not going to be easy for them, but that what our children were learning was going make them better people. That it's best for them. (And to be completely truthful, there WAS a part of me that wanted to go back and get her and tell Ms. M that she just wasn't ready. That we'd try again next year. To keep the small fortune we're paying you and get yourself something nice. But I didn't. I took a breathe, got in my car, and stayed in their driveway like some kind of psycho.)
When I picked her up 40 excruciatingly long minutes later, she was swimming. Let me say that again, folks. SHE. WAS. SWIMMING. By herself. Head under water. And proud. Beaming with pride. Shocked would be a gross understatement of what I was feeling. Awestruck might be a tad closer. And that was just day 2, people.
And just like that, it was over. All her fear had melted away and she was confident in what she had learned. I was so thankful that she had stuck it out. And that I had stuck it out, to be quite honest. I had wanted to rescue her out of that situation, but that wasn't what was best. Parenting is not for the faint of heart. I wonder how many times God "stands outside the gate crying?" His heart must feel the love pangs of parenthood when he sees us going through growing pains. Surely, his heart breaks for us as he hears us cry, our heads going under water, feeling like we're drowning. But at the end of this passing hour, we will come out victorious. That we will be doing what we thought was impossible and proud. Beaming with pride.
2nd Corinthians 4:17 Amplified Bible
For our light momentary affliction (this slight distress of this passing hour) is ever more and more abundantly preparing and producing and achieving for us an everlasting weight of glory [beyond all measure, excessively surpassing all comparisons and all calculations, a vast and transcendent glory and blessedness never to cease!]