My boy woke up with a "severe" stomach ache on Monday morning. An ailment that I was expecting, as it was coincident with his first day of swimming lessons. It's something that I've become accustomed to. Firsts. Nerves will do it to him every time. Even though he is an amazing swimmer for his age, he has doubts about his abilities, and the nerves are bad enough that they manifest into a physical ache for him. It has resulted in screaming matches, crying fits, and outright defiance. Despite the fact that underneath it all, he knows he can do it.
This time, I was prepared with my pep talk. As I rubbed his back during his refusal to get out of bed, I told him how confident I was of him. I mentioned that it was just fine to be nervous, even though there wasn't anything he needed to worry about. It was normal that he was fearful of the unknown.
"What if the instructor's mean?"
"Well, I highly doubt he/she will be mean. All your instructors to date have been great teenagers..."
"But Mom, I can't keep a five pound brick up while treading for two minutes! It's so heavy! I haven't had swimming lessons for six months!"
"Well, they won't necessarily make you do that on the first day, they'll work you up to it. Don't worry, Mom and G will be watching and if you really can't handle it, just let the teacher know and I'll come get you. You can tell your teacher you haven't swam in six months and that you're rusty...did you want Mom to tell them?"
"No, don't you tell them, NOOOOO, don't!"
"I won't then. But no worries, even if you don't pass this time you've got four years to do it before you go onto the next level anyway. Give it a try, okay? It's just important that you keep your skills up, swimming is very important. And you can do it."
My brave boy then combatted his fears, and tamed the butterflies that were wreaking havoc on his insides. He got out of bed and got ready for his lessons.
Later on at the pool, I saw him disappear into the water and resurface, dark goggles and teeth shining as he grinned from ear to ear. He was in fine form.
Over the last three weeks I've been enjoying some wonderful family time. An escape from a decision that has the potential to be lifestyle altering. Since I've been home, I've been living with some butterflies of my own. Knowing that I just had to push a button to release from "pause", the process toward becoming a full-time career mom.
As I sent the e:mail to my friend the head hunter, to notify him of my return to reality, it felt like I was flapping my own little butterfly wing.
Who knows what will happen next? I can only hope that it will be a positive turning point in my life, our lives. And that this forward motion will be toward some good chaos.
Can chaos be good?
Again, one can hope.