Wednesday, July 27, 2011

angel in the locker room

so yesterday my faith in people
was a little shaken when I took my kids to swim lessons.
two of my girls are great in the water and doing well in their lessons.
one of my girls, j, is very timid in the water
that is her personality, actually.
she is a quieter girl,
content to play alone a lot of the time with her webkinz, dinosaurs and space toys.
but she has lots of friends and loves to giggle with them and her sisters.
she just has an aversion to athletics, poor girl, just like her mom.
sorry, j, for passing that lovely genetic tidbit onto you.
but she tries.
and that's all I can ask for.
I eventually learned to swim and liked it and so will she.

so imagine my utter shock and lump in the throat-inducing dispiritedness
when I hear a big, loud-mouthed dad spewing,
'look at that girl in the life vest, all she does is sit there on the side and shiver. She does absolutely nothing!'

that 'girl in the life vest' was MY kid. I was mortified. I didn't even know what to do.
i wanted to say something so badly.
but that's not me.
i wish i had.
but if I had opened my mouth, hot-burning tears would have bursted from my eyes
and probably nothing would have come out of my mouth.
i was so ANGRY.
and upset.
what kind of parent says something like that?

i went to get j when her lesson was over and she was upset
because she got scared near the end when her instructor asked her to try a front float.
i was upset about the comment but trying to put on a happy face for her
telling her she was so brave today for trying something new.
kids don't learn things at the same pace.
i know she'll get it eventually.
she's only 7 for goodness sake.
but i'll tell you what this 7 year old kid CAN do,
she can tell you the name of every dinosaur known to man,
she can name all of the planets, in order from the sun outward
before you can even start thinking about which comes first.
she can tell you the name of each and every one of her 15 webkinz
she can identify a nickelback song within the first 2 notes of a song
(yes nickelback...)
she knows what a jabberwocky and a jedi knight is
and she is the sweetest, most gentle kid I know.
i was telling j how proud of her i was
when a mom standing next to us in the locker room,
who knew nothing of the loud-mouthed comment
came over and said to j,
'do you know how brave you are, sweetheart? you are getting better and better each time. you really are, ok?'

thank you, thank you, lady in the locker room,
for restoring my faith.
there is more good than bad in the world.


loulou said...

Miss Sweet-pea

Your post is so moving.

FORGET THE FAT MOUTHED DROP-KICK! (oops was that a bit too loud of me)

We all (not just children) learn at a different pace.

Some of the greatest people in history that made a difference in this world could not do a lot of things - but what they did do was do what they loved very well.

I love the expression "you zig when they zag"
It just means - dare to be different. Especially in a world of everyone trying to be so "normal"

Tell miss J - Keep reaching for the stars and at the worst you may fall but you'll land on the moon!
(fat mouth wouldn't even get out of his chair)


(Your Australian Friend)

Sheri said...

Thanks Loulou! You are so right, on all points! As you can see, my girl has unique interests and I adore that about her. I hope she never changes and always dares to follow her own path.

Thank you for the absolutely lovely comment!


ps. laughing at the drop-kick comment. : )

pretty pink tulips said...

Sadly, there are people out there that just don't think. Your daughter is so fortunate to have a mom who understands who SHE is and will encourage and support her throughout her life.

xoxo Elizabeth

Erin said...

Aw I am so sorry about that man's rude comment! What a sweet little girl you have, and how precious that the other mom was full of encouraging words. Love your sweet little blog, Im your newest follower!