Friday, March 21, 2014

Monkey See, Monkey Do

BooBoo and I started swim lessons this week, which is a HUGE thing for me. I hate getting in my swimsuit in front of people. I’m very self-conscious and very aware of all of my flaws when it comes to my body. Why then would I willingly subject myself to a flood of emotions like that? For my kids.

I want them to be able to swim. I want them to never know the fear of water and the self-loathing that I always faced when swim day approached at school. If that means putting on my bathing suit and walking around with fake self-confidence for a few years until they’re old enough to take classes by themselves, so be it. They’ll have their own demons to wrestle; I don’t want to pass mine on. 

It’s been incredible watching BooBoo so far. He’s almost fearless. He kicks using a kick board and jumps from the sideline from a standing position and goes under water like a champ. He’s not so great at the going on his back thing, but I think he’ll be a lot better at that when he’ll be able to learn with a teacher and not from his Mom.

I often feel like kids are sent to teach US something. Whether they be our kids or kids we interact with. Watching them helps me remember what it was like to have no fears. Those moments where I didn’t even realize dancing in a grocery store might look silly; or that everyone might not want to hear about my mom’s bad days in the middle of a church lesson. Sometimes, just sometimes, I let those moments creep in and I throw all my inhibitions out the window and I allow myself to do something silly- like singing along to a song on the music system in a store and not caring who stares. And you know what? Those are the moments I get the biggest smiles from my kids-it’s  like we’re connecting and they know I’m trying.

So take a lesson from the kids around you for once- do something silly or even brave and DON’T CARE ABOUT IT. They’ll love you for it, and you’ll feel a weight lifted off your shoulders that you didn’t even know you were carrying around.

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