Swim team timed trials for the new season were held this past Saturday. The kids did great--especially L., whose attention at practice these past few weeks has been a little hit or miss, to put it lightly. I've spent many, many afternoons now watching from a pool chair while he spins and dunks himself in the water distracted by even the spatter of water against the lane markers. The kids around him get too close, clustered together on one side of the lane and he often lashes out, verbally, a coping "skill" I know he learned from school. A parent has already called to complain about L.'s behavior at swim practice. I felt my hackles rise when I heard about this, and it took me one full day to begin to let it go. That's progress though, I thought. I've been working hard on this.
On Saturday morning, though, L. had it all together. I watched him dive from the block and strike out as he hit the water and I felt so proud of him. I thought to myself, not for the first time, imagine what he could do if he put his mind to it because there is always, always this thought behind everything I see L. do. He is capable of so much, yet so much holds him back.
How do you tap into that? How do you find the magic key to turn, releasing all that potential into the world?
One of the things I'm afraid of the most is that my son will move through life barely skimming the surface of all he's capable of doing. And everyone around him won't see the possibilities inside of him, the way we do. He's been like this from Day 1 almost--easily frustrated, spinning between interests and pursuits like a top, crashing against one or two along the way, but never immersing himself fully enough to make the thing his own.