I sat on the side of the pool, loving the hot humid air like a giant hug, high on the fumes of the chlorine smell. It takes me back to growing up in the pool and I love that familiar smell and atmosphere like a comfy old sweatshirt as weird as that is. I was reading a book and enjoying some moments with no one talking to me. I stopped reading and looked up to watch as the swim instructor asked Isaac to do his front glide and kicks. As always, he plunged full force ahead, face in the water, kicked his feet fast and furious and stopped about 8 feet later. He came up with the biggest grin on his face, the look of victory obvious, and I couldn’t help but smile proudly. I wanted to stand up and cheer really. Even in 3 weeks he’s come so far. A few minutes later he had to do the same drill but then go under the water and pick up a ring from the bottom. He dove down with purpose and came up exploding out of the water, ring in hand, smiled big and threw both hands in the air like he had won gold. He made sure I had seen his accomplishment and of course I had. I couldn’t stop watching his sweet chubby face, goggles on with the strap pushing his ears down, his crazy Kramer-like curls and his exuberant smile. I delight in that little man and really my heart wanted to explode from the cuteness and greatness of it all.
As I sat mesmerized with my son I was reminded of how God sees me. I don’t always acknowledge how God might look at me, or even how he delights in me, but today I was reminded again of the love of my heavenly father. He loves when we jump right in to learning something new just like I love it when my kids do it. He loves it when we celebrate our victories just like Isaac did when successfully getting the ring. He loves it when we enjoy the process even if it’s hard to do or we forget the things we learned from the lesson before. He loves me even when I’m successfully mastering the length of the pool or thrashing about struggling to make it 5 feet doing the front glide.
My kids teach me so much about life and love daily. Thanks to my son I often learn that you can have fun doing something that you’re not great at. You don’t have to be afraid of the water even if you think you might sink (Although I wish he were a little afraid of that. Maybe it’s because he trusts the one instructing him or the one by his side.) Life is more fun when you smile while doing it. And joy is contagious.
Someone else sitting on the side of the pool today may have thought my son was drowning from time to time with those wild kicks and crazy arms at times. But he wasn’t. He’s just learning to master the art of swimming in a different way than the kid next to him. Whether you look like you’re delighted to be doing what you’re doing or appear to be drowning, know this, you are delighted in. There is a God who delights in you whether you’re sinking or swimming.