Thursday, January 13, 2011

Lessons and Laughter

On Monday and Wednesday nights I teach a few swim lessons for a mixed group of swimmers at the natatorium. I rarely consider teaching aquatics a chore or even work for that matter because I love it so dang much. It's easy to say that I'd do this for free for the rest of life if I was able.

On Wednesday night I found myself teaching a preschool class for two sisters, Audrey & Caroline. Both girls are sweet and well behaved, but fearful as they haven't learned to trust me. We're working on going underwater and streamlining. Caroline goes first. She completes the exercise and when she comes up from the dip I hand her a pink toy whale. She's delighted and her enthusiasm excites her older sister, Audrey. Both girls do well for their first dip and both are rewarded with toys.

The next dip is upon Caroline so I extend my hand and ask for the toy whale. She hesitates and nearly refuses to relinquish her toy whale. Caroline has no idea that after this next dip I plan on rewarding her with a much larger and more elaborate toy whale.

It was then that I saw it....I nearly teared up just realizing what He was showing me. How often do we hold onto tiny toy whales without understanding that He's asking for them because we need free hands for the upcoming task, and because He has something so much bigger and better for us if only we obey and trust Him.

If only you could've seen her face when I gave her the new whale! It was precious, totally precious!!!

Pictured below are some of my favorite swimmers, Avery & Grant.
You haven't seen cute until you've had a chance to hang out with these little studs!
Their mom, Patti, a sweet friend and incredible example. I love her.
A few weeks ago I noticed that the lap lane pool was available. It's normally crawling with Denton ISD swimmers, but seeing as it was during Christmas break the swimmers were gone and it was our turn to play!
Over the last few weeks A & G have been killin' it in the smaller heated pool. I decided it was high time to introduce them to the big pool! I was so excited, until I started to get in the water. Lemme just tell you that it was uncomfortably cold! I took my first step in and thought 'wow. that's really cold'. I took another step, water now up to my thighs, and it felt like someone was suckin' the air out of lungs. I knew what I had to do. I had to just get it over with and fully submerge myself, but the thought of putting 'the girls' under was more than I could stand at the moment. I waited another few seconds. I couldn't do it! It was freezing! I looked up and noticed the guard on deck trying his hardest not to laugh at me. I gave him the stink eye, but it only made the laughter erupt, it was then I decided to just do it and get it over with! I did, it was awful, completely awful! and it took 600 meters to warm me up enough to tolerate the cooler temperature. (Lap pools are often heated in the winter, but not overly heated as the warmer temperatures coupled with a hard workout often gives long distance swimmers massive headaches. Imagine running on a treadmill in the middle of summer in a non air conditioned room, it's something like that.)

When Patti arrives with the kids and sees me in the lap lane she's equally excited! Patti's a swimmer as well and understands that having the kids in the bigger pool, swimming measured meters, will help give us a better gauge for their progress and endurance.

The kids are excited and start stripping off their clothing. I call Patti over and explain to her that the water is unreasonably cold, and that if she's game I planned on having the kids just jump right in rather than walk in through the stairs. She agrees with the plan and stands back.

Avery walks to the edge of the pool and is getting ready to sit down. I dont want her feet to touch the water as I knew that if she felt how cold it was she wouldn't want to get in. I then tell her she's going to jump in, but that she has to hold my hand. She's a bit confused because she hasn't had to hold my hand while jumping in for some time now. But, she's a sweet girl and follows directions well and holds my hand. I don't even have to tell you how this goes down. I'm actually laughing as I write this....

Poor Avery. She jumps in on my command and I promise, you have never seen a child come up out of the water with such velocity!! She immediately reaches for me with her free hand and begins to crawl up my body and over my shoulders so fast to get out of the water! All she could say was "it's cold! it's cold! I wanna get out! I wanna get out!" as she's scrambling to get on deck. Patti and I are in hysterics. I couldn't control myself! It was so awful to laugh that hard, and yet so great!

My hysteria was only heightened when Grant, who was somehow oblivious to his sister's reaction to the frigid water just moments earlier, had the same reaction when he it was his turn! I just remember his huge blue eyes and his massive gasp for air as he hit the surface reaching to me for protection. For a moment it seemed as if he searched my face to see if was crazy. Maybe just a little. Patti is still laughing, but is now wagging her finger at me and saying "You're a mean Miss Marcy! Totally Mean Miss Marcy!"

Oh man!!! I'm still laughing and I feel awful about it, but goodness gracious that was such a great laugh and will forever be such a great memory. Just know that I tell this story so much better than I write it! Well, I tell it well when I'm not laughing about, but if you can understand me between my laughing fits, it's pretty comical.

Needless to say they warmed up. We immediately grabbed two kick boards, I took one child under each arm and started to run down the lane with them as they kicked their little legs off. I certainly got my workout in that day and they were such troopers.

When we finished in the big pool and got into regular pool, Avery said "Ahhhhh...this feels like a bathtub." Grant said "Miss Marcy, I don't wanna go in the other pool ever again, ok?" I just smiled and didn't make any promises.

I. Love. My. Job!!


Patti Alderman said...

I am still laughing at that day too! They are so much fun! The good news.. they did get back into the lap pool again... so at least they werent permanently scarred! :)

Rebecca said...

LOVE the whale illustration! So true.

Renatta said...

It is all I can do not to fall out of my chair laughing!! I can totally picture your face and their eyes as they realized that their little bodies were about to turn into popcicles!!