“It” Teaches a Lesson


I am hurting. I hurting in the place that I don’t ever like to talk about. I feel attacked in my soul.

The nonstop hate stream filling my FB feed, Twitter, TV, Radio, of death, mayhem, sorrow – every day it’s a death by a thousand cuts.

Then there was swim lessons. As a teacher and instructional designer, I always find myself looking at others to see how 1) They can improve their instruction or 2) more often, how I can improve mine.

As a wife, mother, daughter. friend and citizen – I teach and try to learn everywhere I go. I try to look at things though a lens of a learner.

Yesterday, I learned a lot. I learned about my child’s great capacity to love. He touched my soul and opened up a part that I had closed off due to pain, hurt and fear.

At the end of class (far too unstructured I had been saying to myself!) they play tag. My son is a strong swimmer in the class that I put him in and could easily have dominated the “tag” game. However, he did something far different. He watched for what I considered an unfathomably long time for a 9-year-old who we jokingly call “Squirrel” because of his lack of focus.

“Squirrel” decided to watch. He took a position near safety and was mostly in the water like a Navy Seal, popping his head up from time to time, observing the situation. What he didn’t know, was that  I was watching.

I was annoyed with him because he spent far too much time in class today being chatty with a younger boy instead of focusing on instruction.

But know he was watching the group. He was watching how the other kids were tagging and making a girl with special needs “It” and he was watching how they innocently kept swimming away just far enough as to not get caught.

Sensing her frustration or just getting frustrated himself by the unfairness of it all; I could not tell, but he sprung out of the water from his safety and saw where “It” was and made the game just competitive enough so she, after about 5 minutes was able to catch him.

Then he went for every the kid that made her “It”, drawing them further and further away from her, while allowing her to be part of the chase. He then proceeded to tag another child, get tagged “It” again and it repeated until the end of class.

He taught me that compassion and doing the right thing doesn’t have to be a big production, but a simple act of doing the right thing – even when no one is looking or even knows.

He also shamed me, for I was wondering why the instructor left so much unstructured time at the end of class.

But then I realzied – “It” was to teach ME!





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