Saturday, October 5, 2013
''C'mon,I Wont Let You Fail''
On Thursday,Chips,you found yourself in the middle of a challenge. A challenge none of us had expected and therefore none of us were prepared for it,least of all you. After a really good swimming lesson you were called into the big pool to try and do your twenty five metres badge. It was literally sink or swim time.
It was a long,long way up that pool. You have got your ten metre badge but 25 metres is a big jump from ten metres...over double the jump.
As you stood waiting by the side of the pool you looked a mixture of excitement mixed with a massive big dollop of nerves. You had a great big grin on your face and your eyes were shining but I could see you were nervous. So was I! And so was your mamma!
You were the second person to go. You climbed steadily down the steps of the pool and you were in. There was no time for fussing,you turned onto your back and started to swim smoothly up the pool using your windmill arms
I felt compelled to follow your path,you in the water - me on solid ground,both of us feeling apprehensive to say the least.
You got half way there and it began to tell on you,by three quarters of the way there you were just ever so slightly beginning to lose your rhythm. This is when Dianne began to count to you and the rhythmic beat of counting,the steadiness of numbers helped to focus a mind and a little body that was beginning to flag. A countdown that began at 30 and ended way before one by the touch onto a wall,a swimming teachers arms guiding you up and a mummies voice full of emotion.
During that countdown I saw true tenacity kick in. You had to dig deep,deeper than you have ever dug before. We are not talking skimming the surface here,more like digging deep and bypassing every deep physical place you had ever visited before. The counting seemed to calm you down and focus you once more,you began to regain your flow and technique and you showed a depth of character that I always knew you had.
I soon saw that this was a private moment between you and your swimming teacher. Now was not the time for interruptions or for any other person,however well meaning they may have been,to add their words into your head. And in that moment I gave you over to Diane completely. I trusted her and more importantly so did you! I saw the look that was growing between you,as she willed you on. Too many words from different directions would have broken that connection and the connection between you and the swimming teacher was strong.
To be honest that was part of the magic of the moment. To watch and just observe what was happening and in doing so I witnessed something really special. I think if I had yelled out ''Cmon,Chips" the spell would have been broken and with that the moment would have been gone. I also think how hard it is for children to listen to voices coming from all directions. They are having to concentrate as much as they can in the first place,moving their arms and legs in synchronisation,add a flurry of voices all talking to them at the same time and it must confuse or at least make it harder for the child to do the task it's doing.
So I was silent. And I watched. And I listened. And that was good.
I saw you swim and complete twenty five metres and I heard Dianne do such a good job of inspiring and encouraging you. A lovely thing to witness. I would like to keep those memories alive for a long time. To remember the look on both yours and Dianne's faces and to hear her words that gave you that extra kick in your legs and that belief that you could turn your arms just a few more times. Isn't it funny what words can do,they can truly be the difference between succeeding and failing in a situation like this.
The thing is though memories do fade don't they,no matter how hard you try you can't keep them as sharp as you would like too. Over time they blur at the edges and with this in mind I tried to drink in as much of the occasion as I could. I like to think these feelings live in our hearts for much longer than the actual images stay in our heads.
With legs, as wobbly as Bambi's were when he stepped on that ice,you climbed the ladder and was on solid ground again.
I was absolutely choked!
And my other favourite memory was when the lesson had finished as Chips walked by Diane she held out her hand and they gave each other a high five. Now that's what high fives are made for!
Oh and the title...the words that I heard Diane say to Chips.