I am a flotation device

When I embarked on the summer of 2009, I had an 18 month old, a three year old, a four year old, and a seven year old.  My seven year old was the only child who could swim and I felt a little bit of trepidation as the swimming season was upon us.  I wasn't sure how I was going to lifeguard three drown risk kids, but within a month the three and four year old were swimming like fish and life was a little easier.

Now we enjoy swimming at our gracious neighbors pool many times a week.  Everyone except Juliet can swim like crazy and I enjoy watching them and keeping a close eye on Ju Ju.

When I get in the pool with them, I hold Juliet and work with her a bit to make her more and more comfortable.  But the other kids are excited to have a playmate in me and like to grab me from all sides and ask me to throw them, help them float, etc.

Sometimes it's a little much and I find myself saying, "Don't touch me!" or "I am not a flotation device!"  But this gets a little tricky, because I am, in fact.

A flotation device.

I am a mother.

My own mother was, and is, the strongest lifeline I have on this earth.

How can I ask them not to touch me, to hang on to me, to use me as an anchor and respite from their constant treading of water?

Jesus said, "Let the little children come."

May I reduce the number of times I say, "I need space" or "Can you please back up?"

May I not give half-hearted hugs or unfeeling kisses.

May I remember what it is like to be so...needed.

I am a flotation device.

May I do my job and hold them up.  Do more then just keep their head above water.  Love them like their life depends on it.

I am a flotation device.

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