One of the things I enjoy most about being a SAHM is the time I get to spend talking to my children.
In the car, over a meal, at bedtime or bath time, the things you hear – and learn – are just priceless, and each conversation reminds me what I gave up my career for.
Like for instance, today, Raeven used the word ‘exhilirated’ for the first time. That is, I think, her first four-syllable word. Oh no, the second. ‘Sanitizer’ is her first. Yes, Mommy has a bit of the OCD when it comes to clean hands.
Anyway, so we’re on our way to her first swim lesson (a little recap at her blog) when suddenly, she asked, “Mommy, how did you feel when you went for your first swim lesson?”
“Mommy was older than you when I learnt to swim. But Mommy loved the water. I was very excited,” I answered, trying to psych her up for what I was expecting to be quite a touch-and-go situation.
It was true. I still remember my swimming instructor, a tall, thin man by the name of Mr Oon, at the ACS Boys School swimming pool. I was seven when I performed for him, rather noisily, my version of the freestyle.
“Oh…well, I’m exhilirated,” she replied.
I stifled a smile. The fact that my daughter copies the words we use is not a new thing, although I cannot recall when the last time was that I used such a fanciful word. To think she caught, and retained, such a word! She is an amazing child.
“Oh? Are you?”
I grinned surreptitiously into the mirror, where my daughter sat all rigged up in her brand new swim cap and goggles, looking all serious and nervous.
“Mommy?” she asked a second later.
“What does it mean, exhilirated?””
My smile widened.
“It means you’re both excited and happy at the same time,” I offered.
“So you were happy and excited at the same time when you first learnt swimming?”
“Yes, Mommy loved the water very much,” I spewed more pro-swimming propoganda.
“Well, I’m also a bit nervous,” she added, smiling shyly, as though admitting to having taken a second helping of cake.
“Mommy will be there the whole time, and your teacher, so don’t worry,” I assured her, knowing that these words won’t mean a thing when she saw the size of the pool and the depth of the water.
At that, my five-year-old daughter nodded silently and looked out the window, contemplating her fate.
“Are you still exhilirated tho, baby?” I tested.
“Yea. And nervous too.”
“Thanks for my new goggles!” she grinned, peering at me, her eyes pinched tight within the colourful fibreglass ovals – the source of her exhiliration.
That’s Rae for you. Nothing’s too scary as long as you look good.