Today’s time at the pool (3 hours of prime baking in the sun) represented the beginning of the end of pool time for this season, and it made me think. This has been the first year that I have not been in the pool for most, if not all, of the time they are swimming. I taught them how to swim and I’m proud of their continued progress. They even love to dive, a skill I never mastered. I’m thrilled that all of them seem confident, if at this point a bit bored, at the pool. Yet, it brought a pang I have now come to associate with moments of letting go.
The image of a little guy in a Gap green, single-pocket, t-shirt with navy shorts that had a tag saying, “backyard ranger, always ready” is etched forever in my mind. He would stand with his tiny hand on the peeling bark of a birch, or the tall, straight trunk of a 40ft. pine and look longingly out of the split rail fence. A fence he could now hurdle at will. Then came a bundle of bright light, bouncy, determined, ready to take on the world, or at least her older brother. Lastly, a bit later the Lord added one more to the fold, a little brother whose challenges would consume us for awhile, but who has pushed himself into bloom beyond anything we could have expected or prayed for.
And so they swim, and dive, and snorkel around the pool. I pretend to read as I watch them over my book and enjoy the moment to myself and miss the times of swimming with them, when their world and mine were more intertwined and am thankful for the reminder that as I let them go, while holding on a little while longer, a hand more sure, more faithful and more loving than mine holds them each and directs their paths.