Mama's Going To Kill The Swimming Instructor

by Pool Builders on 02-06-2007 in Articles

This was a day like no other day in my life. It was a strange combination of being terrified and triumphant. It was a day in which the almighty was finally going to answer the big "where are you God," question; but as I have come to know the answer would lie in the totally unexpected.

There I was standing at the edge of the pool screaming as I watched this scrawny young man drag my eight year old daughter to the middle of an Olympic size pool and say one word, "SWIM!" Had he lost his mind? Didn't he know that I was sending my children to him to learn, and his only instruction was "SWIM?" Yes, I did say children, because my four year old was to be his next victim. I couldn't handle this scene, what on earth would he do with my four year old? Would he simply say "SWIM!"

The young man seemed totally unconcerned that I was ranting, raving and pointing at him. Helplessly, I watched my daughter bobble up and down in the water, grabbing for him. Each time she grabbed, he would float further back and yell "SWIM!" She was in a horrified panic and I was ready to dive when the gentle hand of my husband tugged on me. His touch said, it's okay. I turned around, glancing at him. I could see the same questions in his eyes, but he had an inner assurance that eluded me. But then, that is how our relationship is, I am fire and he is ice. So I trusted in his cool composure, allowing his calmness to put out the flame.

When I turned again, I saw the most amazing thing. My daughter was actually swimming! Awkwardly paddling a few feet at a time, she struggled to keep her head above water. She was gasping for air, still looking afraid, but swimming. The rhythmic tone of the young man yelled, "SWIM, SWIM, SWIM!"

My mind flashed back to many times of unfruitful swimming lessons. I remembered how kind the instructors were. Each day they would tell me things they taught. Yet, they never learned to swim. This day in "Boot Camp" a triumph was made. Maybe my four year old was not going to be a victim after all.

I was relieved. That young man had not lost his mind. My perspective was wrong. What appeared to be a cruel strategy was a well executed plan for success. Finally, stroke by stroke my daughter reached the other side. Victorious! My husband and I were elated, but we had one more session to endure that day. What would he do with my son?

He beckoned my son. He pointed to the slide. Great, he's not going to put him in the middle of the deep. Then reality hit, the slide dumps into 12 feet of water, my daughter had only been terrorized by 10 feet! I desperately fought the urge to get up and yell, bit my lip and held my breath as I watched my four year old make the ascent of this huge twisting and twirling water slide. The instructor floated over and commanded my son to slide, and paddle to the wall. He plunged into the water in a flash. I gasped, but in an instant second later, I saw his head pop up, he was laughing, and did just what the commander said, paddle to the wall. My son swam. Whew, it was over!

Well, not really because that day God etched a lesson in my heart that I would never forget. There were many days that my husband and I cried out to God when circumstances got overwhelming. We felt as if we were struggling in the deep, as if the waves of life were going to crash over our heads. During these desperate moments, it appeared God was invisible. As one of the disciples put it quiet bluntly, don't you care if we perish? That day I learned God is not invisible during trying times, he's just standing on the sidelines, tapping us on the shoulder - it's okay. He's trying to teach us to SWIM.

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