On swimming and silence

Zoe finished her swimming lessons a week or so ago, and now my sister is making the trek up here with her kids two times a week so they can have lessons from the same teacher. (She’s amazing. The teacher that is, although Liz is amazing as well.)

They started yesterday, and I was the one who took them each over to the pool when it was their turn, because the first lessons are notoriously difficult- since it’s something new and the teacher has to establish authority, there can be lots of fussing from the kids, and that can be hard for parents to listen to. The kids did great, but Aiden, who is 3 and has never had lessons (the others have, and really didn’t have any trouble) had a rough beginning.

I’ve never been at a first lesson, since B took Zoe to her first last year, and this year it wasn’t a new thing. So watching Brittany work with him was really interesting. She tells the kids that her only rule is that there’s no fussing, no complaining, and if they fuss, then they have to swim. If they can be quiet and calm, then they get to rest on her shoulder. When he started to scream, she just calmly and lovingly told him that she’d wait until he was done, and put him in the water in the position to swim. He kicked around for a little bit and then she picked him up to find out if he was done. When he started screaming again, he got to swim some more. This went on until he stopped screaming, but he would still talk when he came up, “I’m cold, I want my mommy, I want to get out”, and so she’d put him back in. It got to the point that when she would pick him up I couldn’t hear anything from the side of the pool, but she would still tell him that she’d wait until he was done talking, and put him back in. She looked over to me, smiling, and told me that he was whispering to her.

Finally he stopped even the whispering, and she held him and he rested. When she put him back in the water, the difference in his swim was huge. He didn’t fuss when she picked him up, and he got to rest again, and again, when he started the swim again, there was improvement.

I’ve been thinking a lot about silence lately (hi Brandy!) and so this got me thinking. I wonder if there’s something to be learned from this to apply to our interactions with Heavenly Father. Are we so busy screaming, talking, whispering at Him that He can’t bring us in to rest? Is there a humbleness, a submission in silence that is requisite for us to make a jump in our progression?

What do you think?

I’m off, it’s Zoe’s birthday and we are preparing for a fun filled day.

4 thoughts on “On swimming and silence

  1. Hilary on

    I love your thoughts, and Happy Birthday Zoe!!!

  2. Oh my goodness, Maryanne, what an amazing idea! I think you are right; so often we talk “at” God instead of “to” Him or (better yet) “with” Him, and we fill up all the time instead of listening and learning and, yes, coming to rest. Beautiful. Thanks so much for sharing.

    Happy birthday to Zoe 🙂

  3. Cindy on

    I think you’re on to something here. I get the most inspiration when I’m quiet and reflective and not when I’m in an agitated state and need answers NOW!! Thanks for entering the give-away. It is sure to be fun times ahead! I can’t wait to see where he’s called!

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