Tuesday, April 21, 2009
She is the tiny one in the middle
Here is my little Ella Bella swimming away in her class.
I feel ready to burst the whole lesson. She is such a little peanut next to the other kids. She is nervous and hesitant, but she does everything the teacher asks of her anyway. This is what makes me so proud.
I don't want her to be an Olympic swimmer. I don't want to force her to do things. I do want her (and all my kids) to experience the pride and satisfaction of accomplishing something for themselves. The rewards are small for easy comfortable challenges, but for those that require them to dig down and then power through - those reap big rewards. Like that giant smile at the end of class. The big hug and the happy bouncing in the locker room.
Isn't that what every kid should learn growing up? How to face adversity and all of life's challenges - big and small- with confidence and poise. To have enough gusto to at least try. To know that their are people that love them anyway and who are ready to help- but that the biggest joy will come from accomplishing it themselves.
I once was in the back country of Glacier National Park in Montana for 4 days and 3 nights. I don't remember the trail or the names of the mountains and passes. I do remember this particular climb. We slept under it first and gawked at it through dinner and breakfast. We put on our enormous packs and began the switchbacks.
It was the hardest thing I had ever done. If I could have quite I may have, but I didn't. We all got to the top and we each found a spot to sit. I stared out over an amazing view. I still can't describe my feelings. I just know that when I am challenged I revert to that climb in my mind and I gain additional confidence. I didn't think I could do it, but I did and it felt unbelievable.
Maybe Ella's swimming lesson will be her Glacier climb.