Thursday, June 18, 2009

Learning in their own time

We are having a couple of firsts this summer. At six and a half, Riley has learned how to swim. I took her to lessons three years ago, and as the first child, I thought she would learn that summer...ha ha ha. Three weeks ago, she was so scared to jump in, she fretted, fooled with her goggles, and the anxious agitation was palpable to me. And then she did it. She jumped.

She is also an "emergent reader." Two of life's basic skills, she is mastering slowly with practice. I'm so proud and she is so excited. It is so wonderful to watch her bloom in her own time. Not mine.

Mallory is exerting her independence as a three year old. I'm proud of this as well(!). It may be frustrating on a daily basis but a necessary step. She is growing up as well. She is doing great at swim lessons although she is not signed up for them. She was signed up for them two weeks ago and she made it 6 out of the 10 days and then got tired of the instructor telling her what to do and didn't want her face in the water so she quit and I allowed it. Riley was doing so well and was so ready for this, we added another week but she was the only student for that time block so the instructor told Mallory to bring her swimsuit and just sit at the edge to cool off.

This is what happened yesterday. Mallory swam. Okay, here comes the sap. These beautiful beings that George and I brought to life, just surprise me in unexpected ways and make my heart so full. I know there are many more surprises down the road, good and bad, more independence that will test me to the very core I'm sure, as they get older. Yet I am thrilled to be able to experience all of it, and the degree of difficulty makes the good times feel even greater. This is a fantastic journey, this thing called parenthood.

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