Monday, July 16, 2012

Someone Pooped in the Pool

My mother-in-law took the kids and me to her gym today to go swimming.  My kids had been looking forward to it.  They always love to go swimming with Grandma and ask her often when she will take them again.  I usually stay home and use the time to do some project around the house, but today it was hot and the kids really wanted me to go.  So I went.

We played in the water, we splashed around, we had swimming races--David against me swimming with Lizzy or Joy on my back.  We went down the water slide.  The kids practiced their swimming skills.  And then the unthinkable happened.

Someone pooped in the pool.

Everyone had to get out for an entire hour while they shocked the pool.  The kids were so disappointed.  I was disappointed.  We switched over to the "grown-up" pool and played in there for a few minutes, but it wasn't nearly as good for the kids as it got over their heads very quickly.  So we went home early.

My children learned a valuable life lesson today.  Life is full of disappointments.  Sometimes they are really big--we've cancelled more than one trip to the lake house due to inclement weather.  Missing this past Christmas due to illness.  The deal falling through on the house Hubby and I were going to purchase before we found our current house.

Sometimes the disappointments are small--not getting dessert every night.  Missing your favorite TV show because you have a meeting.  Finding a hole in your favorite pair of sandals so you have to buy new ones (this happened to me last week).

I always look for opportunities to use real life lessons to teach my kids.  Yes, it was disappointing to cut our swim time short, but we had a lot of fun during the hour we did have before we had to get out.  Yes, it was disappointing that we had to miss the family Christmas parties because Joy threw up, but that just means we get to spend more time together as just our family.  Yes, I was annoyed when I found holes in my sandals, but I do like my new ones and think they are a lot cuter.

Yes, life is full of disappointments, but rather than dwell on the disappointing situation, instead, I tell my kids to focus on the good.  While you can't have dessert tonight, you did have food to eat for dinner and you do get dessert many nights.  While we can't go to the lake house this weekend because it's supposed to rain the entire time, we will get to go some other time.

It's an important lesson for my children to learn early because the stakes will only get higher as they get older.  I'm sure that at least one of my children will have their heart broken by some "horrible, mean, awful" boyfriend/girlfriend.  (Anyone who would break my baby's heart is for sure horrible, mean, and awful, right?)  They might not get into their first choice college.  They might not make the cut for the basketball team.  They might lose their job due to downsizing.  They need to learn to handle disappointment in a positive way if they are going to have a successful life.

Whenever they are tempted to get overly upset, I can remind them about that time that we went swimming and had to leave early because some kid pooped in the pool.  If they can handle that disappointment, they can handle anything!

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