Is it okay if I brag a little today?
We were swimming at the YMCA this morning when Maddi's eight year old friend encouraged her to take the swim test. Maddi's eyes were eager. This is my preschooler who would be ready to enroll in drivers ed if I let her. She loves structure, learning, checking tasks off a list, straightening shoes by the door when we get home. Maddi's entire life is dictated by order–most of which she likes to be the boss of. I have caught myself in the last couple of weeks telling her, "Maddi, I am the mom in this family." It's a challenge to have two directors under one rooftop.
But, isn't it true that our strengths can be our weaknesses and vice-versa?
Madelynn's determination, pride, go-to spirit and courageous personality works well for her in many ways. So, today when given the swim challenge she accepted without question. My goal-oriented daughter passed the shallow swim text immediately and was awarded a blue wrist band that means she can be in the shallow end of the pool without a parent. As her mother, I still need to be in the pool area, but I don't have to get wet (I felt like I had graduated, too!)
Maddi eventually encouraged her brother to try passing, although it took him several minutes to become convinced that it was worth interrupting his efforts to build a raft out of floating Styrofoam noodles. Completing worksheets and taking tests are not motivators to my son. Still to appease his little sis, he spent the ten minutes with the life guard and her clip board and also received his blue wrist band.
This wasn't enough for Madelynn. She soon discovered that if you earn a pink wristband you are allowed to go in the deep lap-pool by yourself. Made to prove herself, she signed up to take test two and within minutes was walking towards me as if she were carrying her high school diploma–approval is her love language. The delight in her eyes captured the swim instructor who defined her as "adorable–a great little swimmer."
I'm not overly surprised, just didn't expect her to accomplish this today. It's like going to the high school counselor's office simply to inquire about the steps needed to go to college and leaving with all the entrance exams completed and being told the acceptance letters are in the mail (the life guard told Madelynn that she would input her swimming status in the computer so that every time we check in at the desk, Maddi will automatically be given her pink admittance wristband.)
In similar fashion, days after returning from Belize, Maddi insisted on taking the training wheels off her bike. Just like swimming, within moments of trying my four year old was riding a bike for the first time by herself. I want to give her dad credit, maybe he has special privileges in heaven to assist with certain things that I'm not ready to tackle. I can't take credit, other than being her cheerleader on the side-lines. I will give Maddi the credit. She is using her dad's daring spirit to try new things with all the oomph and confidence she possesses.
To me, this is cause to celebrate. Life is filled with tests and I believe she will pass one after another.