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Philosophical Monday: Learning to Swim

This Saturday, by husband will don a pair of swim trunks and take our daughter to her first swim class, and so the real teaching begins.

All of my adult life, I’ve thought about lessons I’d like to pass down to my children: The Golden Rule, Respecting Money vs. Loving or Hating Money, How To Be Different.

I was practically chomping at the bit to instill all sorts of values into Betty as she was incubating inside my belly. But then for the first few months of her life, she’s pretty unteachable. Forget values, she was way too busy learning how to breastfeed and swallow and smile. Smiling! She had to learn it from scratch.

It was a bit anti-climatic, really. Here I was ready to be the teacher, only to realize that for first few months, my only duties were to keep her alive and give her plenty of nuture. That was all.

But as it turned out, keeping a baby alive is a pretty intense job. I can’t imagine what would have happened if she had come out needing both diaper changes and life lessons. God did good with his design of the parent-baby relationship, I think. As she learned to do things for herself, I learned to do things for her.

But now, she’s ready to be taught something. CH will take her to the pool and gently show her how to put her head underwater. Then I’ll continue with the lessons when I come back from Europe. She’ll eventually learn how to swim and I will learn how to guide her in learning to swim.

That’s what I hadn’t counted on when envisioning my role as a mother. I thought I would be the teacher and Betty would be the student in all things. But so far we’ve both been learning. A lot. It’s the unexpected bonus of the job I signed up for.