Sunday, October 21, 2007

Baptism and the power of water!

Take me to the be Baptized!

This year has been filled with new experiences. Many of them have involved water. Water surely brings renewal and an opportunity to think of cleansing, new life, birth. And for some of us immense fear.

The first of these lessons came about with the need for the swimming instruction, for at least 4 out of 5 family members. As we started planning our Summer activities we thought about swimming and the cost of swimming lessons. Our oldest had started in group lessons, had gotten much better about being comfortable, and couldn't swim a lick, or a lap. Fast forward to the mommy chatter and we heard there was only one woman who taught children to swim locally, Ms. Margie. I had enough good sense to skip the YMCA - as my childhood trauma came from that experience and I surely wouldn't subject a child to the taste of chlorine. At least not with regularity. So, by August we had signed up for oldest ninabot (affectionate term for kidlets) to start taking private lessons at the Country Club. (That is surely another post.)

I mentioned that I too didn't know how to swim, and the instructor insisted that I come ready to learn the next time I brought little missy. I don't know what made me think this was the year to learn - but I guess I did. The two of us, to my shock and surprise, are now water literate. She can dive, do various strokes, float, and do laps in the deep end. I can survive. I can swim, somewhat. Most importantly I am comfortable getting my face wet, moving from spot a to spot b, back stroke and I'm working on breath and blow. (My deep end skills have a little to be desired and I can still struggle with becoming overwhelmed with too much H20.) I still have a lot to be proud of though.

My oldest children made the decision to get Baptized this year. We were so excited about their decision and I wondered how my second ninabot would do when he understood just what it would require. He likes water about as much as I do. So we talked about it and he was certain he loved God enough to take the plunge. (Until he kindly lifted his hand out of the water to assist the minister in coming up!) Like many generations before him, my Noah doesn't care for any more water than he can drink. I was so proud of him for his courage and for his hand motions that confirmed he is surely my child.

The littlest kidlet wasn't old enough to get Baptized, although he clarified for anyone who would listen, "I love God too." We went to the Baptism and he was very observant of his brother and sister as he looked on and encouraged them in their big day. He had been overwhelmed by the company for the weekend and having the people who love him (and his siblings) surround him was such a big treat. was my rocket science idea to take the children to the gym the following weekend for a little R & R, and pool time. I was happy with my new skills and the ability to go from one side to the other with relative ease. I was happy in general - until I rolled over to a yelling lifeguard telling me that I had better watch my son (age 3), even though dad was in the water too. It was a cold shock to my system.

Littlest ninabot tried to reach me and went out too far and got over come in the water. Let me introduce you to the next swim lesson contestants - ninabots 2 and 3. The life guard jumped in, dad wasn't far behind, but the joy of the water was sucked completely out of me. The power of water is really diverse - from fear, to renewal for frustration all in less than 3 months. I solemnly walked out of the pool not thinking about the joy of our time together but promising myself - swimming is a life skill, not an option. Isn't it funny how one thing can represent soo many things when you really look at it.

The same is true for friendships, life lessons and hardships. They come in all packages, mean many things in deed to us all - but when it all comes down to it - its the same substance at heart. I guess the challenge for each of us, is how you use what you know. A lesson from the power of water indeed.

I look at this picture and I'm certain about the power of many things. The power of water, the power of people, the power of smiles. The swim instructor encouraged us in ways that made such a bigger connection than anyone who comes into your life for such a specific reason. The Baptism was at our new church - and even though there was soo much newness, we were surrounded by an incredible amount of love. And for that lifeguard who just ruined my family water day - I had to get over that too. He was in deed trying to save the life of the special ninabot here - the fearless one, and in the process his fear and anxiety overwhelmed him in how to respond. I could have avoided the water, for many years I did - but now I'm thankful for the many lessons that I bring.

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