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My son practicing his swimming

Its School holidays and for the first time in many years, I am spending two weeks at home with my ten year old. I have always loved school holidays and the freedom it gives with no lunches to make or uniforms to iron, shoes to find at the last minute and homework to fret over after a long day at work.

This school holidays I began with extra determination to enjoy each moment savouring my son's childhood and determined to provide him with memories to buffer him through the last of the school year.

The first week of holidays has flown by and we are into our last week. We have spent many hours at the pool with my son finally overcoming his phobia of water and for the first time able to paddle for a short time without his flotation devices. It has been a huge personal triumph for him to want to swim and enjoy his time in the water after numerous swimming lessons and countless hours cajoling from me.

His constant shouts of 'watch me' have filled my heart with pride as he tries desperately to dive to the bottom of the shallow end of the pool. It was only a few short months ago he was still traumatised by the thought of getting his hair wet in the bath let alone submerge it by his own choice into a huge swimming pool filled with noise, stranger’s bodies and chemicals.

His perspective that the pool is a scary place where he will certainly sink and drown has changed after allowing himself to explore alternate possibilities.

Last night my son asked me How was your day mum?

Blergh was my inanimate response. He repeated the question, how was your day mum? I responded again with another undecipherable mumble. I have been feeling unwell the past few days and yesterday was one of those days where every bone ached and breathing was a chore I just didn't feel I had the energy for. He placed his arm around me and looked impassioned into my eyes. Mum, he said again firmly, how was your day?

It felt more like a command to step up and out of myself and I felt like I needed to justify my apathetic responses. "I feel sick and today's ended with us doing nothing, I feel like it has been a waste of a day" I lamented. I was also feeling guilty we hadn't been to the pool again as he had wanted and instead had spent much of the day on the couch reading, chatting and watching movies with him.

I am feeling humbled and grateful for the wisdom of my 10 year old son who so eloquently rearranged my perspective and planted me firmly back where I had begun with a single statement. How many times do we allow circumstances to pull us away from the fullness of the moment and allow our own obsessive thoughts, worries and in that moment for me, parental guilt rob us from exploring what each present moment has to offer?

Mum, he said with his large brown eyes staring down into the recesses of my soul, arm still firmly around my neck, no day is wasted only taken for granted!

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