As parents we often have to make really hard decisions. I have a feeling that as they get older and grow up those decisions are harder and harder. There is so much to balance when making a large decision. We try to categorize the care of our kids into three areas. Mind, Body, and Spirit. Often when we are talking about something having to do with the kids I have to ask myself if it falls into one of these areas and unfortunately if it does not, I really do not have time for it. It's been a good tool. It also helps keep focus what is truly important in life. Mind. Body. Spirit.
About a month ago we were faced with a tough decision. It was a decision that partially was made for us, and I'm so grateful for that. If you've followed this blog at all you know that Zander is deep in the throws of the swim world. He swims for 2.5 hours plus, six days a week. Now imagine that schedule balanced with four other children and all that they also require. For months and months I've had a nagging in the back of my mind that this schedule is too much and distracting us from what is really important. Our family time is often disrupted because of swim. We miss out on a lot of extra fun things because of his need to be at practice or a meet. It often pulled us away from church on Sundays and cub scouts on Wednesdays. But we rationalized it because he loves it and he is so good at it. Zander's hair got totally bleached and fuzzed out not to mention that he lost his eyebrows. Yes, all of his body hair fell out. He was looking rough! I often thought about what all that chlorine was doing to his skin, teeth, hair and eyes. You know me, I'm a nature girl. I think about that stuff. But we rationalized away and kept to it.
The decision came then. Things got a bit turbulent on his team and we, for various reasons, discontinued membership. This gave us a sweet taste of life without swim practice. We knew that we had to put him on another team because Zander is a swimmer...that is what defined him. Right? He has to swim. But while this decision was in the process, we got a glimpse of what life is like without swim ruling us. We saw what Zander was like without his defining sport. We felt the blessings of more family time and just more time to be....without the rush that swim always brings.
AND ALL I CAN SAY IS GOOD RIDDANCE!!!
What a total joy it is to not have that monkey on our backs anymore. We released it and while it is hard to see him turn his back to something he is very talented at, it's been fun to watch him have time to develop other skills, like target shooting and archery. He's also become quite the wiz at magic...I can barely type that without laughing! But in all honesty, it's been such a great learning experience. I'm thankful for all that happened around this decision. I never would have said that while it was happening, but that's how trials are. It was like swim was a drug and it needed to be removed in order for us to see clearly. We all literally had to detox. I know that sounds crazy, but it's so right on.
I know now that the nagging in the back of my mind all of this time was the Holy Ghost telling me that we needed to repent of our missed sunday's and our worship of swimming. I know that sounds crazy, but we truly worshipped swimming. Oh how our God must have been irritated with us. I knew while it was all happening what we were doing, but Zander was just so successful at it that we didn't care. Shame on us! How thankful I am for repentance!
Having said all of that, I'm sure that Zander will return to swim at some point, maybe over the summer or in High School, but we've learned so much that it will be different. We will be different. It's hard when you realize that you are doing something wrong especially when it is classified as something seemingly great. Many people would tell us it was wrong to pull him from the sport, but the One that matters told us and showed us why it was to be this way. I'm thankful that we finally listened to that still small voice!