As mentioned, we spent some time at Great Wolf Lodge. Now, I was in a conference for 2 of the days that my family was in the pool, but I got 2 pool days myself. I learned to be…wait for it… QUIET.
Yea, that’s right, in a crowded kid venue, I found my inner silence. What you need to know is that because I work from home, I LONG to speak with people all day long. (Thank God for Twitter!) In addition to that, since Amelia and Zoe have both had speech disabilities, I’ve spent most of my mommyhood chatting, naming, singing – anything to show them how to talk.
This kind of talking “at, to, and for” approach worked wonders on Amelia. She has speech issues (lots of echolalia) but she starting speaking at 10 months, has a good vocabulary, and can communicate her needs and wants.
With Zoe, however, all my speaking had little or no effect on her. She’s maybe up to 50 words at age 5 (minus numbers and alphabet) and as I was swimming in the pool with her last week, I wondered to myself if I was doing the wrong thing yakking away at her so much. Not only that, but I was a bit of a nervous wreck in the kiddie wave pool. Both my kids are better swimmers than me (Zoe doesn’t yet swim, but can manage a bit of a doggie paddle, and so qualifies), so I’d worry about waves and undercurrents and losing my own footing, and I’d freak out a little when their faces went under water. (I was less excited than years back when Amelia starting doing flips in the pool again. More like terrified.)
As I tried to calm down (and shut up) the inner voices, I thought that maybe it was a good thing to shut up. No more “swim!” or “splash!” or “Good job!”. Just me and Zoe in a pool, rocking with the tide, and floating with the calm.
Something wonderful happened. I connected with Zoe on a level I have not before, on a …how shall I say? Spiritual level? We were just a mom and her daughter, just enjoying the water and each other. There were no disabilities because my mouth was closed and her body was floating, no judgments, no pressure…just companionship, contentment, love.
I realized today that I was doing the verbal diarrhea things again and I stopped it. I simply held her hand as we went to the fish hatchery, watching the fish swim, and enjoyed her. Same too during lunch. It was awesome.
Thanks Zoe, for teaching me that in the quiet there is love.