Tonight, Jack wanted me to take him to swim class. Usually, I sit on the side lines, towel in hand, while Daddy's in the pool with Jack. But tonight, Jack wanted me. I wasn't excited to go public in my bathing suit, but I was excited for Jack to be enthusiastic about class.
We're enrolled in a great program - Chicago Blue Dolphins. The only issue currently is that their facility is under construction, so our classes are held at other various locations throughout the city. Tonight, Jack's class was held at the student center at Moody Bible Institute. It's fine for us - close to home. And while I was already feeling a little self-conscious in my bathing suit and cover-up, I just had to laugh when we got to the center - we walked right into a pastor convention. Ah, life. I'm not sure what was more a spectacle - us coming in with me in my bathing suit and cover-up or when we left after class, me, having changed out of my wet suit, was wearing my industrial-strength nursing bra underneath my cover-up with spaghetti straps, a wet pool towel draped around my neck and me pretending it was a scarf.
Jack's gaining more and more confidence in the water. However, he's still not a big fan of putting his face in the water, which continues to hold him back from advancing to the next level. His least favorite part of class is when the teacher holds on him and "swims" him over to me, briefly getting his face wet. Right before she started moving, he looked at me intently, his goofy Spiderman goggles on his face, and his wet hair sticking up in all directions. I held my breath, puffing my cheeks out, and he mimicked me, filling his little cheeks with air. The teacher pushed him toward me, briefly dunking him, and he came up, looked at me surprised and then smiled.
It's one of those parenting moments I could either cry or laugh - I love that boy so much and how much he trusts me. It's a moment of giving him the skills to do something for himself, when all I really want to do is keep him little and mine forever.
And yet, we parents continue on, helping our children to find their own strength and master new skills. Giving them the bravery and confidence to take on new challenges.
Even if it means getting a little embarrassed myself.