I don’t remember much from my high school Latin classes, but I do remember the first quote I had to memorize: “Gutta Cavat Lapidem,” by Ovid. Loosely translated, it means, “dripping hollows out rock”. I have used it surprisingly often over the years to remind myself to stick with things even when they are difficult and especially when I have no other choice!
I spent much of this morning pondering Ovid and his wise words because I have found one of our first challenges in educating my daughter. That is, getting her to work when she does not feel like it. In particular, today it meant writing out addition tables to memorize them and then staying in the water at swim class.
I was able to let the tables go because I knew we would have a chance to come back to them this afternoon or evening or tomorrow. But what a quandary as she jumped out of the pool, ignoring the instructor, claiming to be cold (while her brother and two other tots swam about happily)! On the one hand, she is 6 and we are hoping to inspire fun and a lifelong love of swimming. If the kid doesn’t want to swim, she doesn’t want to swim. If she is cold, she is cold. On the other hand, we committed to this class and she needs to learn that there are times she has to do what she is told and follow through on a commitment. Plus, Mommy doesn’t truck with insubordination from a 6-year-old.
So, when her brother, the guppy, finished the lesson, we marched out to a “working lunch” where we talked about why she refused to swim and how we were going to change things for when we return next week (and we will return).
Sometimes I look at Molly and I am amazed at her maturity and intelligence. She grasps most things so quickly. Other times, like during our working lunch, I wonder if she has lost the ability to hear. She watched my lips blindly as I told her that part of her job is just doing what she is told whether she likes it or not and even when she is uncomfortable. That being said, we will try again tomorrow. And the day after that. And the day after that. And the day after that. Because if there is one thing I am good at, it is setting up a slow drip, drip, drip until the job gets done. This one may take awhile.