Saturday, August 7, 2010
Yes, it's been a while since my last post. That's because I've been busy...swimming in my pool! Can you believe it? It's finally up and filled and has stayed that way...so far anyway.
How did we do it? Two Steps: Determination and Perseverance.
Of course, while Frank and I shovelled more rock in the 100 degree, scorching sun, we both complained and whined and griped and wondered if the work was even worth it. Like a good mom, I encouraged him and said the pool would be even more fun because of what we had to go through to set it up. Not sure he bought it. Even after splashing around in our little oasis and repeatedly dunking his sister, I'm still not sure he bought it.
While I was floating on my back, enjoying the beautiful summer sky two nights ago, I wondered if (like over achieving) determination and perseverance is passed down through our genes. If so, my quiet and calculating daughter received and overabundance of them. Once, when she was about 5 or 6, we were swimming at the Y. She wanted to go down the indoor slide.
Lifeguard: "I'm sorry. You have to be able to swim all the way across the deep end and back to be able to go down the slide."
QC: "I can."
Lifeguard: Smiling sweetly. "I don't think so. I'm sorry."
So my daughter, who had never swum more than about 5 feet on her own jumped in the deep end and swam all the way across and back. She pulls herself out of the pool, plants her hands on her hips and glares at the lifeguard. "Can I go down the slide now?"
The same daughter loves to help me bake. When she was a toddler, I put her in charge of dumping. Whenever an ingredient needed to be added, it was her job to dump it in. We made a good team in the kitchen and it was usually a lot of fun. Except when it came to making chocolate chip cookies. She wouldn't "dump" the chips. She added them to the dough one by one. It made me nuts! But she liked the single chip method and no amount of cajoling, coercing, threatening, or begging would change her way of doing things.
It's makes us crazy, doesn't it, when kids set out to get what they want? It's funny when Family Guy's Stewie starts his "Mom. Mama. Mom. Mommy. Mom..." It's funny because we've ALL heard it. Or how about the Simspons "Are we there yet? No. Are we there yet? No. Are we there yet? No." The kids KNOW they are driving us crazy and yet the persevere because they also know that eventually they will get what they want, right?
So what happens? Why, as adult women, is it so hard for some of us to ask for what we want? And to persevere until we get it? Studies show that women are less likely to ask for raises or promotions. We're less likely to enter a job interview and ask for the pay we really want right from the beginning.Why is it so difficult for some adult women to open their mouths and say, "This is what I want and I'm going to get it. I hope you support me, but if you don't I'm doing it anyway?" Is it because we don't feel we deserve it? Are we afraid we will seem pushy?
Even though it wasn't easy and it took a whole lot longer than 15 minutes, with determination and perseverance, I finally got my pool. Because I wanted it. I thought we deserved it. And I didn't want to disappoint my kids. But somehow, nearly passing out from blowing up the inflatable top, shoveling rocks for days in the blazing sun, dealing with the odorous swampy bog, filling and re-filling the water was a whole lot easier than finding that same determination outside the confines of my backyard. Hmmm...Maybe the lesson here wasn't for my son, but for me.
While we're enjoying the last days of summer, take some time to find your inner child. It might require you to spontaneously jump in the deep end. Or shovel some rock in the blazing sun. Or open your mouth and ask for what you really want. True, you might drive someone crazy. But in the end, when you are floating, peacefully gazing at the stars with a smile on your face, it will all be worth it! I promise!