Sunday, March 17, 2013

The Swim Meet

When the triplets were one we moved into another house, one with enough room for 3 high chairs and another bedroom.  One of the wonderful things about our new neighborhood was that it had a beautiful swimming pool, and as we were to find out, a neighborhood swim team.  When spring rolled around we signed Jason and Josh up for the swim team, and they started practicing.  (Which really meant “learning to swim better.”)  They had their first meet and it was all very exciting. 

But then it came—the meet at Homestead Heights.  The boys had heard about Homestead Heights from everyone on their swim team, coaches and swimmers alike.  Homestead Heights was notable because instead of being 25 yards long, their pool was 25 meters long.  What difference did this make, you ask?  A difference of about 8 feet, which is a big difference when you are a little boy. 

We arrived at the swim meet that day without our usual high spirits.  Josh and Jason both were apprehensive, and as we walked into the pool area they both decided that they weren’t going to be able to swim that day. 

I could see the fear in their eyes, and the soft-hearted-mommy part of me wanted to tell them that it was ok, that they didn’t need to swim at that particular swim meet. 

But the other part of me knew better.  The other part of me knew that they actually could swim this 25 meter pool just fine.  The other part of me knew that it would be a good experience for them once it was over.  And so I wiped away their tears, reassured them that they would do fine, told them I was proud of them for being so brave, and sent them off to swim. 

It’s been a lot of years since that day so I don’t remember many of the details.  But what I do remember is seeing Jason finish his first race, and come straight over to me, beaming and still out of breath.  His eyes were bright with excitement and he said “I DID IT, mom!”  And I hugged him and told him that of course he did, and that I was so proud of him for doing something so hard and scary.


At some point over the next few years as this experience floated in and out of my consciousness I realized how like this swim meet many of our earthly trials are.  The difficult experience starts and we are so afraid.  We assure Heavenly Father that we simply cannot do this thing.  Or tell him over and over how much we don’t want to because we are so frightened.

I think that there is a part of God’s heart that, just as Jesus cried with Mary & Martha, aches with us in our pain and our fear in those moments.  I wonder if it is ever hard for our Heavenly Father not to “rescue” us, or if his ability to see so perfectly and clearly the relative shortness of the trial and it’s eternal benefits gives him some kind of divine equanimity. 

What I am certain of is that when we pass through the experience and come out intact on the other side we have grown and changed in important ways, and he rejoices with us, reminding us through the spirit that he knew we could do it, and that he is so proud of us.

may 131

Jason & I, spring 2002, before either of us had braces. Winking smile

1 comment:

  1. I feel so much guilt over the fact that my kids have never done swim team. Eric wants to do a camp here this summer that involves lots of ocean swimming, and I can't help but be nervous about it. We should have lived in B-horse run:)