We celebrate our children, really as mom's that is something that is birthed in us along with the little bundle that pops out of us on her/his special birth day. We remember all the little stories, and tell them again and again, until each story of accomplishment or cuteness is replaced by another, at least that is what I do. I remember not so long ago, watching my sisters do the same thing with their little girls and boys. I was not married, and had no clue about anything 'children', but determined to learn the art of listening and participating in the bragging, the discussion of 'the first steps', school awards, attending ballet recitals...and well you get the picture. I had 10 nieces and nephews to practice with, and now I find I do exactly the same thing.
I am not brainless, nor thoughtless, I care about politics, the environment, and even how to make a company run well, but my child, ah, she seems to overwhelm my brain. Perhaps it is due to the hormones of connection at birth, (which I can't remember their name right now) still coursing through my veins, even 6 years and 11 months after little Margo's birth.
Ha, if I bragged, I could talk about her curiosity, and even thoughtfulness at such a young age. She writes and publishes her own books, by hand, down to the detail of the book spine with the title and by, "Margo B", written upon the soon to be taped on strip of paper. Oops I forgot to tell you she is also the illustrator of every book published thus far. She knows how to add and subtract numbers, single digit, and reason out equations from stories. In fact today, includes interviews with 4 friends, 2 adults, and 3 other kids in abstentia, tracking their favorite vegetables. The choices: broccoli, carrots and lettuce. Carrots are the clear favorite upon viewing the written graphs of her 1st Grade math project.
But I am most proud of her courage and perseverance. Little Margo has no clue these attributes are becoming a forged part of her character. Today, while taking her to the Pre-team swimming class, Margo started to talk about 'hating swimming'. She continued on, with the problem of starting out second and then becoming the 4th position swimmer after the coach made some corrections to her swimming. I let her talk more, (thank goodness I kept my mouth shut!) and soon heard her say, "when I am fourth, I can't hear what the coach is asking me to do for the next direction, because I am still swimming..." and then the tears start, and I respond, "oh that can be hard, perhaps you could watch what the swimmer ahead of you is doing?"
We arrive at the pool, on time, and yes I thank God, because if we are late and they started swimming the possibility of a mini meltdown is extremely high! (I can hear you mom's chuckling at that line too. My daughter is curing me from my inherited lateness syndrome!) Margo has a few minutes to sit with a few of the other girls of the class, her coach arrives and it becomes girls in one lane, boys in the other, and she is identified as swimmer number 2. I am thankful, and proceed to the viewing area, to watch, and enjoy the moment. Crap! more kids are coming, and those two lanes are now crowded, and there is Margo swimming through the turbulent water. Oh no, another child arrives and now Margo is 3rd, oh no again, she is last. To me the untrained swimmer of team drills, it looks like chaos! Oh heck, it is chaos, and I see Margo keep swimming. She waits at one end a little lost, and yells to the coach, "what am I to do now?" She makes it back to the edge of the pool after the 8th or 10th lap of swimming, and her face is scrunched, and I see the beginning of the quivering lip, and I am thinking,"ok, you can do this, don't get too anxious..." and then I find myself praying for my daughter.
I am not praying things like, "Ok, God, help her swim faster, get the strokes right, etc.. etc... etc..." Oh no, my prayer is desperate, "please God help her finish and not give up, please, please, please send the Holy Spirit to enable her to just keep swimming and not emotionally fall apart." I see her and give her the thumbs up, sign, but I can't tell if she see's me behind her blue colored goggles. Eventually I begin to slowly relax, as I note she is relaxing. Somehow, Margo has figured it out enough to enjoy her laps. The desperate look is quickly disappearing. I marvel at her ability to attempt the different drills, I rejoice watching her swimming on her back, only kicking, moving each shoulder out of the water by turning her torso without turning her head. All I can tell you, is that she attempts every drill with success, and just keeps swimming.
While she is still away from the edge of the pool, completing her last lap, I speak to her coach, about how anxious Margo looked during practice today. Her coach responded, "Yeah I noticed, and she is doing so well too, I don't understand it." And then I just blurted out, "It is difficult for Margo to hear you when you are addressing everyone differently. She is not able yet to decipher what she needs to listen to, or what is important. I think that is why she gets so anxious at practice, she really wants to follow your directions." I only recently got an understanding of this issue, when I spoke to her doctor last week... and could articulate it in a way her coach could understand. And yes a light went on with her coach, she had thought it was just her physical modalities, but her swim coach will now come up with a simple way to address Margo, so she knows what she needs to do. This conversation took all of 15 seconds. "Tell Margo she did a great job at practice today!"
Margo receives the high-five from her coach as she exits the pool, I greet her with a towel and flip-flops, and look her in the eye and let her know, how amazing it was to watch her swim all those laps, doing all those different drills. "Oh yeah, your coach was telling me what a great job you did today too!" She looks at me funny, and says, "mom, why were you looking so grouchy when I looked at you while swimming?" "Darn, Darn," I am thinking, "she missed my big toothy smile and thumbs up sign." You know she saw my anxious feelings hanging on my sleeve. Basically I told her I was concentrating on something, and that is what happens to my face when I do that, which is true, I have quite the furrowed brow as evidence of that fact. I said I would try and do better next time. (Do you think Botox would work?) She relaxed some more, and could take in the compliments of her past hour, and all was well with Margo, and my world.
I am a mother, I am like most moms, we are concerned about the lives of our little ones. I am just beginning to understand the phrase, "even when you are 30, you will always be my little girl." And I am Margo's mom, so very proud of her courage and perseverance.