Last week we started Wesley in the ISR swimming program- something I have been so excited to put my kids in since I discovered it years ago. I watched all of my nieces and nephews go through the course and it is amazing the survival skills these children can learn at such a young age. It isn't the normal swimming lessons, but rather survival skills such as floating and swimming to safety. We want him to have these skills while living here in Arizona, especially with all of the drowning incidents I hear about almost daily. I went back and forth on weather I wanted to put him in at this age due to the fact that crying is inevitable, but ultimately felt it was something we needed to do.
He cries sometimes in the lesson and I sit there smiling and cheering him on, while really I am just dying inside wanting to hold him and tell him I'm there. They are the longest 10 minutes of my life. Almost everyday I leave wondering if I am doing the right thing. I wonder if I am "forcing" something he's not ready for.
We came home today and like every day since starting lessons, he passed out in my arms while I nursed him to sleep. Today I held on a little longer than usual. These are the moments that matter I thought. He might remember crying in swim lessons when he's older, but he might also remember the way I rocked him to sleep every single day. He might remember the way I gave him my time and honest attention. He might remember the way I showed him affection and the way I made him feel about himself. He might remember the kisses and hugs and dances we share. He might remember the way I always tried to understand him better. And I hope and pray he remembers how deeply I loved him.
He might remember the good. He might be okay, even if you make mistakes.
To me, being a mother means I keep trying my best day after day. It means I am imperfect and always learning. It means I mess up and need forgiveness. It means that I will never do it "right" all of the time. But my son is loved and cherished so much and that is ultimately the most important thing.
I realized today that I will never have all the answers as to how to raise him without error, so as of now I'm letting go of that expectation. I am trying this new thing where I focus on all of the good I am doing, rather that the times that I fail. I will teach him to live and love well, making mistakes along the way. Who else is with me?