There is some stuff you can't fake.
Yesterday Rowen played with some of my ribbons. She asked if she could take them downstairs to use them in a “twirly whirly dance”. How can I say no? So of course I followed her down with the camera…
Today we went to Rowen’s swimming lesson again. I’ve already talked about my fear of Rowen and swimming pools, and I’ll admit that I haven’t been actively trying to teach my kids how to swim (here in double-toddlerville, I err on the side of caution and arm’s length for most things). So when Rowen’s teacher came up after her lesson and said, “The thing you guys need to work on is helping her put her face in the water. She’s scared to, so you can help her learn how.” I could see clearly that some of my fear has been transferred-to the point that in our 30-minute lesson, whenever Rowen got scared, she’d crouch down and shout, “I have to go pee!” And off we’d go to the bathroom - 3 times in her half-hour lesson! ARG!) All the other moms on the poolside were laughing good-naturedly, and her teacher said afterward, “I pulled that trick myself when I was little, to get out of stuff I didn’t want to do” so it made it less about public embarrassment and more about helping Rowen overcome her fear of the water.
The fact of the matter is, I’m not a good swimmer myself, and suffered from a lot of ear infections as a kid (result of lots of scarring from tubes that left a hole in my eardrum and a great susceptibility to ear infections), and pretty much got an infection every time I went swimming - even with earplugs. So my workaround has been to keep my head above water at all times, and it has been that way for years.
Couple this with these images I have in my head (irrational or not, there they are) of one of my children laying facedown in a pool, and I’ve got the shakes to last me a week. Well, apparently I haven’t been able to hide it well, so I shouldn’t be very surprised that she’s struggling so much with this. After all, she has never seen me put my head underwater, right? .. and anyway. Wow. I think this is the first time I’ve ever come face-to-face with the reality that my kids watch everything I do. Scared of dogs? Yep. (My mom was bitten badly by a dog when I was about 6 - she had to get a lot of stitches in her calf and has been terrified of dogs ever since - so this fear is a couple generations old). Scared of spiders? Yep. Scared of buzzy bugs outside? Yep. (Elliott wraps his arms around his head and runs for cover shouting, “Dere la beee! Dere la bee!” - even if it’s a fly).
I’m trying not to beat myself up about this - trying to remind myself that the whole point of these lessons was to help Rowen become self-sufficient in the water and therefore ease BOTH our fears, but it’s admittedly a bit of a painful shock to see how well she has watched me. Today was one of those mama experiences where I feel the extra push to try harder, do better, because they’re watching. How can I help my kids become confident, fearless human beings if I don’t show them how? Because I’m afraid.
I guess there are some things you just can’t fake.
I also (totally flippant aside here) need a zoom lens for my camera, unless I go out wading in the pool with Rowen to get a picture. I foolishly took my 50mm fixed to the pool today, and everyone’s reeeaaaaally tiny. I’m thinking of getting the Nikkor 70-300. Any other suggestions on a decent telephoto lens (under $200 decent)?
On our way out we decided to stop at the gym’s cafe for a healthy treat of mini boxes of cereal, apple juice, a fruit cup and a Diet Coke (for me). We were all eating our snacks, and Rowen looks up and says, “Mama, is that music coming from those talkers?” She points up at the ceiling, showing me the round speaker set in, and yes indeed, the music was coming from the talker. :D