Saturday, April 20, 2013

The Turtles are Sleeping

We started swimming lessons today with mixed results.  My oldest did very well because he knew the teacher from last year and has been swimming on his own since last summer.  My youngest, however, was not happy about the arrangement at all.

Our swim teacher is a dynamic eighty year old (yes, I said dynamic) from New Jersey that always makes me want to dot my I's and cross my T's.  "Did you remember their swim hats?" she asked in a sharp voice.  

"Um, no, but I do have them at home," I reply sounding like a second grader who forgot her homework.

"You'd better remember them next time.  Keeps the water out of their eyes.  Tell me you at least remembered the rings!" she says.

Thankfully I have remembered the rings and hand them to her along with my 19 month old who starts sobbing, "MAMA!!  POOL!  NOOOOOOO!" over and over and over and over again.  "You can't cry.  The turtles are sleeping," she said in a matter of fact voice.

"No they aren't, Miss Ruth," my oldest piped in, "It's daytime.  Everyone is awake.  He's crying because he's scared."  

I do not mean to portray her in a negative light.  She is no nonsense and has taught me more about getting children to follow your lead than anyone I have ever seen.  Still, I couldn't help but want to jump out of my skin as my baby's tears rolled down his cheeks.  My oldest didn't feel quite as helpless.  He jumped right into
the water and started doing the exercises with him.

"You just do this, Drew.  It's not hard.  She's nice, really.  She's really nice.  Just do this," he said as he flapped his arms, kicked his legs or blew bubbles into the water.  My youngest wasn't on board immediately, but after ten minutes of watching his brother do the moves, he at least stopped crying.  Even after he was in my arms again, he watched his brother and I felt him trying to kick or blow bubbles as he watched.  

As Miss Ruth packed up her things, my youngest ran over to her and said, "Ruth!  No gone!" and hugged her legs.  Apparently his brother had swayed him to Miss Ruth's side.  

"He's cute.  You're doing a great job.  A great job.  I love being with you and these boys.  They're special," she told me.

Who knew?

My boys share a bond like nothing I have ever seen before.  They know what the other one needs even before I do and seem to act without thinking.  They love each other and, even more importantly, they get each other.  I am so proud of my oldest for taking care of his brother and I'm so proud of my youngest for trusting him.  Miss Ruth is right.  They are special.  What a joy it is to be their mom.

How do your kids help to support each other?  Do they ever surprise you with their methods?  How so?

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