My little guy is learning to swim. After spending the last couple of summers trying to work with him myself this year it became apparent that he was not interested in learning from mom. So, with the hopes that this is the magic summer he learns to swim we got him started in lessons a few months ago. He is well into having attended a double-digit number of sessions and is still working on learning the very basics. As we’re coming to the end of the summer, I’ve been getting concerned that he isn’t further along. Many of the classmates he started with have already moved on to the next skill level and he is still plugging away.
I logically know that I am worrying for nothing. Kids learn to do things at their own pace, whatever that is. My ultimate goal for him will be achieved eventually… he will not be wearing floaties in the pool when he goes off to college. But, he is starting to become the oldest, biggest one in that skills group. He’s already tall for his age, so the size difference between him and the other little ones sitting with him on the edge of a pool is getting pretty noticeable.
This week, I had the most amazing realization – I am the only one worried, he is totally unaware. He is at this beautiful place, where when learning a new thing he is just in the moment. He hasn’t yet picked up the bad habit we all eventually do of comparing himself to other kids. It doesn’t occur to him that he is twice the size of the little one he is sitting next to him. He doesn’t wonder why some friends have moved to other classes, or even notice that they are doing more advanced things in the water. He just smiles and waits his turn. And listens to the coach and tries his best to just keep swimming.
There’s no comparison between the sun and the moon. they both shine when it’s their time.
He tries his best! As a parent, I could not be more proud of that. And, really, he is able to try his best because he isn’t weighed down by the doubt that goes with making comparisons. So I’m no longer allowing myself to worry about his progress, and how fast or slow it is going. I will encourage him to keep doing his best, because that is what is important. And I will follow his lead and focus my energies in doing my best, and not let the distraction of comparison get in my way either.