January 31, 2012
Today is my daughter’s 23rd birthday. It is hard to believe that she is already 23 and even harder to believe that in a little over 3 short months she will be a mother! Or as I like to put it, giving me my first grandson.
Lynnsay is a beautiful young woman. Cody and I are so proud of the lady she has grown into. She is a good wife, daughter, sister, friend and teacher. She is talented in so many ways. One of my greatest “thanksgivings” is that she and HB live in Temple…and while we try not to invade every aspect of their lives (Honestly, HB, I try. Hard.Really.Hard) we get to spend a lot of quality time with them.
Lynnsay, who, as I have already said is pregnant, recently asked me to start going to “water aerobics” with her…So while I know that I am not really good at “organized exercising”, I agreed to start going with her. She is adorable…and I know she feels like she is completely out of shape because she can’t really run or do any of the other activities she usually does to get into shape. And besides, since she took water aerobics at A&M she has wanted to join a class. I like being in the pool. Until recently, I owned a pool because I enjoy being in one so much. I love spending time with my kids. And besides- I was pretty confident that Lynnsay and I would be the youngest ones in the class…and probably in the best shape…a HUGE overconfident assumption on my part since the most physical activity I have experienced in the last 9 months is chasing Aubrey.
We went last Thursday. I was sitting in the car with Cody waiting for Lynnsay to get there and watching the ladies who were going in before us…they fed right into my overconfident state of mind…
Lynnsay and I changed to our suits (neither of us had swim shoes of any sort) and we headed to the pool. A lady (probably in her 70’s) who had introduced herself to us in the dressing room, was the leader of the class. She had on tennis shoes. In the pool. (a woman with sensible shoes…a woman after my dad’s and my husband’s hearts) She was nice enough to have gathered our “equipment”. Hand weights, bar bells, and a kick board. There were 3 other ladies in the class- two ladies in their 60’s and a young girl who was a lifeguard. Even with the teeny bopper in the class, I was still feeling pretty confident.
Lynnsay and I were giggling as we got into the pool. She was incredibly cute in her suit with her little pregnant figure- we missed the “stretch” time, but agreed how much stretching could it take???
Here’s the deal. I don’t think missing the stretches was my problem…but I did have a problem.
Lynnsay is excellent at organized physical activities. She is good at sports. She learned to Snow Board the first time she went skiing. She follows directions well. She is coordinated and has some sense of rhythm. She is competitive. And she is young. (Ok! Ok! With the teacher being old, age should not really be figured in to my excuses- but I am playing that card anyway!)
I am not any of those things. About the 3rd time Granny Swim Trunks grabbed my arms or pointed me out in class, I sort of wanted to cry. And after she had asked me how to say my name, and I had corrected her from “Marlena” to “Marleea” twice- I kind of wanted to splash her in the face each time she said, “No Marlena it is like this!” “Marlena, you need to be sitting, like this.” “Marlena the breast stroke is like this, not the way you are doing it.”And when she said, “I have lapped you almost twice, you need to pick up the pace!” I bit a hole in my tongue to keep from saying, “Yeah! Because you are the jolly green giant with tennis shoes on! I am short and I think my feet are rubbed raw!”
But instead, I would look at my daughter’s happy face; she looked so adorable with her little belly leading every exercise. She did not seem embarrassed at all that her mother was a loser in the class. When I turned to the left instead of the right, (which was quickly pointed out by Coach Sweetness, “Your other right, Marlena! It’s been a long day hasn’t it?” Another mental eye roll and splashing from me)it did not phase Lynnsay. She just smiled at me and said sweetly, “See how much exercise we missed when we had the pool?”
She was patient and made me want to stay and try harder. Her encouraging presence kept me from giving in and just deciding I did not want to do it anymore.
What a blessing to have a daughter who models Jesus for me! When things in my life get so hard, and I am about to give up, I know I have a Savior. As long as I keep looking at Him, I don’t fall into the grip of despair. When I look at Christ I am not faced with a mirror of my own mistakes. I don’t see embarrassment from Him because I am making a complete fool of myself. I see my Savior laughing and saying, “Come on Marleea! (He doesn’t ever call me Marlena) See how much fun we have missed!”
We are going again…and I am wearing my tennis shoes! I will keep my focus on my Savior and my daughter…and off of my inabilities and failures… Who knows? One day you may go to a Water Aerobics class and find that I am the old lady leading the class! Feel free to splash me if that ever happens! (Oh- and I will feel free to grab your elbows and shove them to your sides, because that is where they are supposed to be! Not floating on top of the water.)
A few photographs of what I really enjoy doing in the water...