Wednesday, June 30, 2010
It's all about attitude
As a little kid, I remember being terrified of people. My mom would introduce me to someone - a neighbor, a colleague, someone I already knew, and I would just stare. Or, run away. Or both. When I saw someone I went to school with at a store - I wouldn't wave or acknowledge that person. Even though I was told to. Even though they said "hi" to me.
As an adult, I still suffer from a lot of the same anxiety and paranoia. I don't do dumb or crazy people, I only answer the phone if I know who is calling, it's still scary for me to order my own food at a drive through and just like when I was a kid, I'm perfectly okay in a lot of situations having people talk for me.
Today we finished our first round of swimming lessons. I say "we" because over the last three weeks, I got just as wet as my kid did. I love my boy so much. He is good and smart and opinionated, and stubborn and sweet and kind. He calls his baby cousin, "sweetheart" and lovingly takes abuse from his little brother all day long - even if he trips him up on occasion just because he can.
Swimming lessons was a bit rough. You'd think that 6, thirty minute sessions would fly by for one of the most social kids around. It didn't fly by. Some days it was down right painful. In reflecting a bit today though, I've learned a good lesson from our first adventure into the land of structured swimming - it's all about attitude - mine just as much as the kids.
I grew up with a mom who never let us be bored, always kept us busy and taught us to work hard. Sometimes the lessons were tough, and not the most fun but they were lessons learned. As a grown-up I can only look back on those times as a kid with gratitude (thanks mom) because I learned that it's all about your attitude - you just suck it up, do your job, and feel better in the end, win or lose.
We did that with swimming. Even though it wasn't the most fun - and there were tears shed on many days, and that nutty kid of mine wouldn't swim with the others, preferring to shiver on the edge of the pool by himself, we went. We did it. We took our "just do it" attitude and shoved it in the face of potential disaster.
I'm proud of my kid for sticking it out. I'm proud of myself for giving his little three year old self a mini life experience and lesson. The same sort of lessons I learned as a kid.
We (yes, we) will probably need to repeat this level of swim class a couple of times. Someone (not me) needs to learn to be brave and float on his back. We'll do it though - and this time around, we'll do it with an even better attitude.