Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Swim Day with Big Kids

Yesterday was our first "Swim Day" of the summer.
Every summer the Women's Ministry Director from my church welcomes moms and kids to her house on certain Tuesdays for a swim day. My children and I have been enjoying these events for some nine or ten years now. And they were happy to begin again this week.
When we arrived, I barely had a chance to say, "Here we are!" before the kids were off and jumping into the pool. (We had put sun screen on at home. No need to waste pool time, you know!)

So I sat down in a chair and began visiting with another mom.
Every few minutes I looked down at the deep end of the pool and counted heads. Yep. My charges were all present and accounted for.
Jumping off the diving board onto a big raft.
Pushing each other off the raft.
Splashing and kicking, laughing and yelling.
They were having a great time, and it was a joy for me to see them having so much fun. But there, smack in the middle of the joy, I had a realization.

My children were not looking for me.

Not once since we had arrived had I heard them call out, "Mom?"
They hadn't asked me to blow up floaties for their arms, and they didn't need me to be in the pool so they could jump to me.
I remembered earlier summers when we were at the pool and I looked at other moms sitting around the edge, wondering when I was going to be able to join in the conversation.
I remembered the first time I convinced Matthew that it was safe to jump into the pool - that I would catch him in my arms. And how, once he had the hang of it, he didn't want to stop!
I remembered teaching Joshua how to float on his back, and now I looked at him jumping off the diving board like a pro.

And I realized, my children are really growing up.

The only reason they still "need" me for swim days is because Mrs. Bytwerk's house isn't within walking distance.

In the midst of the realization, I smiled to myself. My little babies are big kids now. God has brought us through some really rough times, and has given me much joy. I know we have more storms to weather - and sometimes it scares me to anticipate what they'll be like - but I know God will still be with me.
He will still be faithful.
And there are still joys for me to experience.
I believe it.

So I went through an entire swim day without answering the call, "Mom???" And I'm OK with that.
I wasn't entirely useless.
Several of my girls from Sunday school were there, and they kept me busy. Can't count the number of times I heard them calling, "Mrs. Hossink?" I helped one girl gain confidence jumping in the pool. Helped another swim on her back. And comforted a third while her mom attended to little brother.

All in all, it was a great day at the pool!

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kreed said...

It happens in the blink of an eye, doesn't it? It is a little strange for me to have one "big kid" and one that won't be a big kid for quite a while, but I still feel a little nostalgic for the old days when my girl was little! It is fun to watch them grow, though, and I am trying to remember to just love each phase as it comes.

annie said...

They do grow up so fast!

Chatty Kelly said...

So glad you are enjoying the fruits of your labor. You're raised independent kids and now you have time to relax...until they need you again which could be any time. ;-)

Edie said...

It sounds like a great time! It does feel good when they can do more on their own.

I couldn't help but think about "counting heads" as we go about our activities and waiting for us to call His Name. :)

km said...

I know that day will come for me...but we're a ways off still. My first one just learned to swim this week. I bought him his own kickboard and new goggles as a treat. I'm looking forward to swim days when I can relax....but for now, I'm in the water. Today, I bought myself a rash guard since I was getting burnt. My kids all wear the rash guards with their suits. =0) It's so fun to watch kids grow up and spread their wings.