The road of parenthood can be treacherous at times. Especially as we navigate the many uncharted territories that arise almost daily as our children mature and become more independent. I mean It really shouldn’t surprise me at all that my eldest son is venturing out into the world a little more everyday and that as he matures and discovers more of who he is and what he is capable of, he subsequently needs me less. It shouldn’t surprise me that he is asserting more of his independence, accepting more responsibility and taking ownership of his life more and more.
Case in point:
Yesterday I was quite amazed when he informed me he wanted to try out for swimming trials. I looked at him with my brow slightly raised and said “Oh really? You know it’s for competitive swimming hey? For races and galas.” Without wanting to scare him I felt that I had to give him fair warning and explain what it was he was getting into. The mom in me just wanted to protect him from any disappointment. I didn’t want him to get his hopes up or feel like a failure among other boys who had more training experience.
He looked at me dead in the eye and said “Mom I’m doing it. Go get my towel, I’ll get my costume and goggles” I realised he meant business and so I did what any mom would have done, I said a quiet prayer, got our togs together and off we went.
Sitting on the sideline benches as the large group of boys lined up for their races, I felt the nerves in my tummy build. I wondered if he even knew how to do any proper stokes! He hasn’t had any lessons since he first learn how to swim and we don’t have our own pool where he spends hours swimming everyday. How was he going to keep up? How was he going to swim that whole length of the pool? More so, how was he even going to jump off that block which to me seemed so much bigger than him? I almost couldn’t watch.
I paced up and down the sidelines, every so often looking through the masses of boys, trying to find his eyes. Maybe he would change his mind? Maybe he would back out and say he didn’t want to do it any more.
By the time he was called up for his first race, I wondered why I had even agreed to it all. As I watched him more closely, I could see he was nervous, but I saw something else in him too. I saw determination! I saw this little boy who despite the nerves and overwhelming crowd, was casting all doubt and fear aside and doing what he set his mind to. As his little body hit the water he began treading water as fast as he could, only coming up for air when he absolutely had to. He gave it his all and finished each stroke without giving up. Despite coming second-last in backstroke he refused to give up and pushed himself to finish. And on top of it all he ended each race with a beaming smile that exuded so much pride and satisfaction.
My son taught me a lesson yesterday. He taught me about courage and determnation and about not giving up. He taught me about showing up even when things seem scary and he taught me that winning is not the most important thing, rather how you finish.
When he came to me of his towel to dry off I looked at him and realised how much he has grown and how cable he is. There is a confidence in him that is so clearly evident that wasn’t there last year and I felt such a mix of emotions. I teach my son things everyday. I teach him how to read and how to be kind. I teach him how to do math sums and about planets and plants. I teach him that he is capable and strong. But yesterday he proved how much he has to teach me daily. Yesterday the teacher became the student.
Thank-you my Noah Ryder boy, I couldn’t be more proud of you if I tried!! xxx