I taught Little Prince how to swim.
I've never taught anyone to swim before, and it was a rather scary experience. What if I push him too hard and it becomes a chore? What if I hover too much, he never really learns, and is wearing floaties for the rest of his life? What if I let him go too much, he gets scared, and never wants to go in the pool again? What if he drowns?
They should teach these things in Mommy School. (As well as, "What to do when it's 6:00, three kids are screaming for food, and you haven't a clue what to make for dinner 101.")
But today I decided to just wing it.
We've been talking a while about learning to swim "like a big boy," and I suddenly announced that today was The Day. He calmly informed me that he would wait til he was growed up a bit, thanks, and continued the doggy paddle - a move he has perfected in the last few years.
I took him aside and told him I had a secret bigger than Santa Claus. Willing my eyes to sparkle, I grinned my biggest and whispered that I had learned how to swim when I was four years old! NO. WAY. (Which I don't know if it's a lie or not. It could be true. Maybe. When did I learn to swim, Mom?)
But hey, the kid's face lit up like Christmas morning and he ripped his arm floaties right off, fully confident in his mother's swim-teaching abilities.
That was my cue.
For the next hour or so, I compared swimming to everything from sleeping to pedaling a bike to flapping your arms like a bird to smoothing your bed covers. We had a ball. I don't think I've ever had so much fun. We were clowning around, splashing each other and making faces. Laughing fit to kill. Goofballs, nothing for it.
I completely forgot about my new callings that I'm nervous about and the fireside I was asked to give tomorrow and my husband's job search and grad school applications and laundry and life. For one afternoon I was simply Little Prince's mommy - just him and me.
I would explain, demonstrate, and then help him. He really liked the "bicycle pedal kick," but whenever he really got going he'd clamp his arms to the side and sink straight down like my belly at the pulpit. I asked him repeatedly if he wanted to take a break, but he was determined to learn when he was four. (As if he were turning five tomorrow - he's not.)
After a while, LP asked me to show him some other swimming moves. I declined, explaining that he had to perfect the basic ones before moving on. But after much pleading, I acquiesed to merely demonstrate a few advanced strokes.
He took one look at me shooting around underwater, and did it himself.
Just put his face in the water and took off. Came up to breathe like a pro.
I jumped up and down, clapping my hands like he'd just won the Olympics. And I'll tell ya - even Michael Phelps' mom couldn't have been more proud than I was today.