Monday, July 23, 2012

A Monumental Weekend

This past weekend was a monumental weekend in the Pierce-Ralph household. Not only was it a three-day weekend for me (thank you Lord Jesus for that!), but it was a weekend of awakenings. A weekend of firsts. A weekend of new beginnings. A weekend of new skills attained and old lessons learned.

Yes, that was quite a dramatic opening to this blog, but that is kind of the way I felt last night as I sat and watched The Bachelorette (Thank you very much, Ruanita Pierce, for getting me sucked into that show. The whole Ari break-up thing was a train wreck. I mean, it was brutal. I can’t stand to see a grown man cry. I obviously do not have the stomach for these heterosexual mating games. But I digress…) As Ruanita was choking back tears at the ending of The Bachelorette and I was rolling my eyes at the cheesy Peter Cetera “Glory of Love” montage, I began thinking about my own family. My own love story. My own children. Time flies so quickly. Children grow. They learn new skills every day. They seem to be changing every minute. This weekend hammered that home to me.

For the first time ever, Lucas jumped off a diving board into a 12-foot deep pool this weekend. He was completely exhilarated and wanted to do it over and over and over again. Then again. Then one more time. Then just once more before we leave. Please, momma. One more time.

Nicholas swam in water over his head without the use of a single inflatable device for the first time ever. No water wings. No ducky inner tube. He doggie peddled with his blonde head barely above the water, but he did not sink. He swam. He was more proud of himself than I have seen him in a very long time. For about three hours Friday afternoon, I heard nothing but “Look, mom.” “Momma, look at me.” “Mom, watch me!” “Look at what I can do, Mom!”

And Sophie—dear sweet, determined Sophie—learned to tie her shoes all by herself. After buying her a pair of flowered Keds-style shoes on clearance at Target Saturday for $2.98 (God, I love a bargain!), she was determined to learn to tie her shoes. She practiced and practiced and practiced some more—all weekend long—until she was finally a success. She is one persistent little girl. Now if only she could teach her Velcro-loving nine-year-old brother to tie his shoes—but that's a blog for another day.

I walked on the treadmill last night for the first time since paying $100 six months ago to repair the motor because I “absolutely had to have my treadmill.” We won't get into the fact that my walk was induced by guilt over an unsavory cookie binge. Let’s just consider it a small success and leave it at that.

Ruanita, perhaps, had the biggest “first” of all of us this weekend. For the time since our children were born, Ruanita made the conscious decision to back off and give them a little more independence. She decided to forgo her natural instincts and toss aside her usual hovering behavior to allow the kids to show her just what they are capable of doing. To my absolute astonishment, she allowed Lucas to plunge himself into twelve feet of water. While she stood on the sidelines. Without a soul in the pool to catch him. She allowed Nicholas to jump into water and flop around like a fish out of water without any inflatable devices to keep him afloat. In water well above his head. She stood by patiently as Sophie knotted her shoelaces beyond repair in her 263rd attempt to tie her shoes. Not once did she snatch the shoes from Sophie’s hands and tie them herself.

Rather than protecting our children from anything and everything that may harm them or cause them frustration or pain, she allowed them to leap out into the world and accomplish something. To gain confidence in their own abilities. Their little faces beamed like they had just stepped from a dark room into the bright sunshine of a summer day. I can’t help but feel proud of what my little family accomplished this weekend. I find myself full of love and affection and sentiment and pride this morning.

Ahhh…the Glory of Love.

(Queue the montage.)


Anonymous said...

Shannon, after spending a little time with your family I can picture all of them doing their wonderful activities this weekend and I am thrilled Ruanita relaxed and enjoyed the journey. I just love your family and am so happy everyone beamed.

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