We are tagging along with the hubby on business here in the warm (read heat on steroids) area of the Rio Grande Valley, Texas. I always enjoy the tropical landscape, so different from home, and the friendliness of the people. With the majority of the population here being of Spanish descent, we have a great opportunity to put our foreign language skills into practice.
The kids decided to swim in the hotel pool this afternoon. Normally, the youngest would jump in the arms of her older brother and/or sister and hang on for back rides and a splash contest. Today, however, she had a different agenda. Before I knew it, she stood at the stairs, chest-deep in water, counted 1, 2, 3, and jumped in! I panicked and yelled for the other kids until I noticed that she was kicking her legs. This was no accident; she had been around water and around other children in water enough to have learned the mechanics. She was swimming!
The kids swam for hours, and as I watched her semi-independence, I couldn’t help but think of how often I long for the “low maintenance” life. I dream of everyone being potty trained, at least one who can cook and wash dishes, some relief in the routine associated with caring for smaller ones. Watching her teach herself to stay underwater longer and longer, watching her follow the older kids around the pool, I must admit that I wanted my baby back.
I have often heard that parents are the first signs of God that a child sees. We have worked with all three of our children to provide an atmosphere where they’re comfortable growing into the unique individuals God wants them to be. It is obvious to me that this one will be independent and filled with self-determination. Yet, as I carried her to the bed after a much awaited, after-a-swim nap, I was thankful for her and the others, the three little gifts that God has blessed me to care for during this season.