Today I got to hear, see, and record Hazel swimming on her own (with a life vest), beaming ear to ear about it, and calling happily to me, “Mamma, I’m swimming on my own! See, Mama, I’m swimming!” I love seeing that gigantic smile on her face, hearing the pride and excitement in her voice. She was pretty nervous when her teacher put her and her classmates up on the paddle board during class, but pretty soon she was kicking her feet and grinning, and she slid off of her own accord into the water. Once in, and after he’d dumped the rest of the class off the board, she started paddling for the stairs. Having made it there, she was inspired to head for the wall, and that’s when she really realized she was swimming on her own. For once I was videotaping, and so I caught it. We’d gone with my friend A, and so I got to share the excitement with someone else who loves Hazel, sweetening the already fabulous moment.
I have recently, through all our work in the basement, come up with a new mantra: If we have it, we need to use it; if we don’t use it, we shouldn’t have it. Just having arrived at that determination is helping me to feel freer, more relaxed. It is the backbone of a plan to continue to get rid of stuff, and at the same time, a reminder to enjoy fully what we do have and plan to keep. I can see Ted’s childhood trains from where I teach, and am looking forward to getting track set up and trains moving over the holiday, to sharing that with him and with Hazel. If they were all still immured in boxes (in which they were placed 20 years ago), I wouldn’t have that pleasurable anticipation with which to spice the next two weeks before we’re all on vacation for ten days.
Tonight Emily renewed her interest in climbing by pushing her high chair over to the counter, hauling herself up on it, and reaching for the box of Satsumas. The second time, Hazel went over to her and asked, “Emily, do you want to jump?” while holding out her hands. Yikes, argh, nooooooooooo! Ted and I managed not to scream, but we both said some version of, “No way!” The required level of vigilance has taken a steep turn upward. I’m proud of my strong little monkey, but of course she is also scaring the crap out of me. I will do what I did with Hazel, though, and attempt to respond by teaching her more, encouraging her to learn and gain ability and confidence so that if she does get two or three stairs up the stairway before I catch her, she’s more likely to be able to handle it. Meantime, well, I still color my hair, so the white that sprouts as I watch her antics is not yet evident.
Onwards and upwards!