Adam Bird

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Sunday, 4 March 2012

Life Lessons

Oliver in Zante, 2009

Having had the last week off work due to holiday accrued during 2011-2012, I sit asking just where the time as gone! I know exactly where, working hard on the rebuild of the King’s Church Website which has been the focus of my blogs over the past few weeks. I wanted to take a step away from the project for a while and have a look at some of the other things I’ve done whilst being away from the office.

On Monday nights after school Oliver has a swimming lesson at Cascades, our local swimming pool and with me being home for the week it was a perfect opportunity for me to see how he was getting on.

As a family, we are not well known for our sporting process. I hardly have any great anticipation that Oliver or Phoebe will grow up to to become sporting legends but both Stephanie and I understand the importance of being healthy and active even if we aren’t the worlds finest examples at putting our principles into practice.

Even so, through our children we have a great chance to reverse the trend of the past few years, through our courtship where we forgot the lessons we were taught by our own parents and became slaves to sloth and gluttony instead.

Being able to swim is one of those valuable life lessons which will only serve Oliver in good stead as he grows up. It’s actually quite sad in some cases when you hear of even adults who have a fear of water due to not being able to swim. When I was a kid, I'd spend long, fun filled days at Cascades, riding the slides and hitting the waves, even if now I don’t consider myself to be a particularly strong swimmer, whereas Stephanie still takes pride in having earned a ten mile swimming badge back in her youthful days!

Watching Oliver on Monday night as he struggled to get to grips with the technique required I took positives from the fact that he had no fear, and showed steely determination to succeed - even if was only to earn himself a packet sweets! I had a brief reflective thought on what I was witnessing and what I’d left behind back at home. Phoebe who of course isn’t yet ready for this type of education I realised that as parents Stephanie and I were on completely different parental stages. Even so, I realised that what we are doing for Phoebe at the moment is just as important as what we are doing for Oliver. What we are doing for Phoebe we have to do, we have no choice, but with Oliver what we choose to do is entirely in our own hands - almost as if we have a piece of play-dough and are moulding it in our own image.

Both Stephanie and I have ideas about what makes “good” parents and we do try to live up to our own expectations. Sometimes we fail and get it wrong, but that doesn’t turn us into bad ones overnight, it just makes us human, but by giving our children the basic building blocks i.e. confidence, opportunity and encouragement they’ll hopefully use those as a foundation for all the lessons that come along in life, whether it is sporting, academic or dealing with one of the many step-backs along the road.

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