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Mommy Musings - Looking At Your Glass

POSTED July 20, 2011 3:08 a.m.
As of late, I have had several friends point out that I am a “glass half full” type of person. Honestly, the “type” of person I am never truly crosses my mind. I do often ponder the amazing friendships and people I have come to know. I’m grateful for each of them, as these friendships create the fabric of who I truly am.
I have also come to realize lately that people who complain really get under my skin. To put it simply and honestly, I have found that people who are annoyed by much and thrilled by little —well, they are simply annoying.
Rainbows and butterflies, aside, I get that life is not fair, things happen and we do not have to always be pleased with the way things work. Admittedly, I have my fair share of pity parties on occasion, only to be slapped in the face by the reality of my friendships and reminded of how amazing life is. I realized this recently as I went through some pretty heavy personal stuff. Instead of retreating to my bedroom and hiding under the covers, I threw myself into the comfort and safety of my friends. They rallied, they listened and most importantly they reminded me —of much.
As I began navigating the new direction my life was taking, all I could honestly think of was how bad things could be. What a gift. To be in such a dark place and only be able to see the things which shine the brightest.
A simpler version of this played out most recently in our office, when our air conditioning went out. It was 100-plus degrees outside and our 100-plus year brick building, well, it just loves weather extremes.
I joked with our office staff on that day, stating I would be going outside to “cool” off. I also, enjoyed watching the indoor temp rise. I was curious if it would eventually match the outdoor temp or get close. Eighty-nine was the high for our office that day. It was no fun. Air problems are not new to our office and in past years, I would have retreated to the comfort of my home. The perk of being a journalist is that you can write anywhere — well, sort of.
I no longer own a home computer, so escaping to my home to write was not an option. On this day, I would need to suck it up and be miserable with my colleagues.
Fortunately, many of us were able to find an occasional chuckle as we commiserated over how much clothing we could remove without offending one another.
As I left that night, wiping the sweat from my brow as I entered my car, I could not help but be grateful. I was grateful that my key still unlocked the door to our newspaper office, grateful that I work for a company that can still afford to fix said air conditioner and grateful for my friends/ colleagues who opted to laugh our way through our misery. Now as a mother, I am coming to learn much about ‘the glass’ and how we see it. It would seem, that without even realizing it, we are indeed passing this on to our children.
My son has taught me a lot about this, as he seems to finally be finding his way in a sport that he loves.
I’ve written in past columns about my son Jackson and his lack of interest in sports of any type. He does, however love to be in the pool and swim. Since the young age of 12 months, in our first Mommy and Me class he has not feared the water. So this past spring he made the decision to join the Oakdale Gators Swim Team.
What I admire about my son, is his ability to tune the rest of the world out and just do what is right for him. Early on in the season he was hesitant about joining the team because he did not want to “race.” He just wanted to swim and have fun on the team.
The Gators are self -described as a “rec” team, so after speaking with several of the coaches I came to realize if was the perfect fit for Jackson.
When he was finally ready to participate in meets, we would discuss ‘racing the clock’ and focusing on the finish not the lane next to him. I should also point out that my son is anything but a natural, swimming is work for him but it is work he loves. Each meet, throughout the season he made his momma just a bit more proud. Finishing first was never his aspiration. Making that 25 meters without touching the lane lines and maintaining form, that was the goal.
Earlier this month, he swam his last meet of the season. As he readied himself for the 25-meter freestyle his words were simple.
“Like Dory said, ‘Just keep swimming,’ right mommy? Reach the wall and then look. Beat the clock not the lane.”
As I watched my son dive that day, I grimaced. His right foot entered ahead of his hands, so I knew it would affect his momentum.
Thirty-four beautiful seconds later, he touched the wall and won a Heat Winner ribbon. The smile on his face as he realized his accomplishment still sits proudly in my heart.
Once out of the pool, he reported to his coach’s side, proudly waving his ribbon. The look of shock was just as present on the face of his coach as his mother as he stated, “Buddy you just took 22 seconds off your best time.”
As we walked away, I congratulated my son one more time and asked him how he felt.
“I’m just glad I got to swim, Mommy. And I finished. Did you see me finish?”
Proudly…. Yes, I did.

Teresa Hammond is a staff reporter for The Oakdale Leader, The Riverbank News and The Escalon Times. She may be reached at thammond@oakdaleleader.com or by calling 847-3021.
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