The calm. The quiet. The stillness.
Tuesday and Thursday mornings take us to the local indoor pool. They offer swim lessons for kids 2+. The teachers are college age competitive swimmers. And while they are mostly male (only one female teacher) they are awesome with the kids!
The newbie swimmers are always easy to pick out because they are the ones with the nervous looking mommas and they are the ones who are screaming when she tries to leave. If the mommas have nerve enough to just run out the door and up onto the bleachers that first class they will quickly learn just how great these teachers are. They get the kids distracted by all the fun things they do: kicking, splashing, jumping, swimming out to the ropes!, blowing bubbles...all kinds of fun things. Often times though mommas are not ready to do that quite yet. Sadly I was one of those. It took three weeks of me (and Bubs!) getting in the pool with B for her to not scream as soon as we came out of the locker room. Which involved getting three people undressed and dressed again in a 30 minute time period. It was not my favorite three weeks of life. We worked really hard at home talking about how fun swim lessons was and I even made a 'map'. Just like Dora's map. We rehearsed it 'First we go to the baby pool, then the big pool, then the hot tub, then the locker room and that's how we do swim lessons!'. We talked about it at dinner where she could see the map on the wall, we talked about it at the grocery store while she was also practicing her 'swimmer arms', and we talked about it on the way to swim lessons and in the locker room as we were about to go out 'there'. She would be excited until the moment we opened the door. And then her whole body turned stiff and slow with apprehension. She clung to me and started to whine. And if I ever moved out of her reach her whine became a scream.
That was all months ago. Now, Brooklyn wishes she had swim lessons everyday. She talks about her teachers like they are her friends. She waves emphatically and says 'Hi! I coming to swim lessons today. See? I have my swim suit on' when she sees them. The kids in her class are her best friends. She gets in trouble during class for having tickle fights with one of the girls. She practices her swimming on the couch and in the bathtub. She doesn't want to leave the hot tub (I dont really blame her for that).
And when she is done, she has had a work out. She has swam hard. She has played hard. And she is hungry, so she gets a snack while getting dressed. She is tired, so I can usually expect a cranky girl for the rest of the morning. The only way to avoid it is to go from the car to the backyard and stay out all morning, because being outside is one of the only things that flips the 'cranky switch' for either of these kids. Snow in the spring does not make this easy. Sometimes we play at a neighbor's house and while it is sometimes worth the distraction in the short run, getting her to leave is worse than pulling teeth. Kicking, screaming, yelling, throwing shoes...all of that 'NO IM IN CHARGE!!' business. All because she's tired and getting hungry again.
So imagine my surprise this past week when we came home and I went straight to the kitchen to get a snack for myself. I checked my phone while I ate and then sat down and got on the computer to look something up. And then, I realized. And I was flooded with gratitude. And such joy that you could say I was giddy. While I should have been breaking up fights, and fixing shoes, and saying 'try again, that sounded ugly' and 'please don't yell. That is not how we talk to me' and 'you need to stop throwing a fit. Please go to your room until you can calm down.' and 'Bubba get OFF of her!' 'Both of you in time out right now!' My kids were playing TOGETHER. QUIETLY. in the OTHER ROOM! They had been for the last 15 minutes! I was sitting in a chair. No one was saying 'HELP!' or 'Bubba DONT PUSH ME!' or 'MOOOMMMMMMMMMIIIEEEEEE' or 'wawee wawee wawee wawee wawee' and there was no one pulling on my leg or climbing up my back or touching my face or playing with my hair.
That kitchen was still. It was quiet. It was calm.
There was peace in the house. A harmony. A harmony that comes from little people working it out together. When they want to play together and they figure out how to do it on their own. Without fighting. They compromise. They share.
They continued to play very well together for most of the morning and I found myself drawing on that unbelievable miraculous event for the rest of the week.
If that isn't something to be grateful for this week I'm not sure what is.
Oh yes, I do! It rained yesterday. My first Wyoming rain. It's only snowed since we arrived in October. And while I would really love for there to be no clouds at all because we've seen a lot of them lately, I will take the rain over the snow. Thankful that while so slow in coming this year, spring is arriving.
What are grateful for today?