Friday, October 09, 2015
Today I am grateful for reading eyes. I have friends who can look at me and say, “It looks like you’re coming down with something. It’s in your eyes.” And it’s true. A day or two later I get the miseries. Everytime. Maybe they are jinxing me, but I doubt it.
My mom used to look in my eyes and say, “You’re up to something. I can tell.” Usually I had to scramble to get a cat out of a bread-box, or staunch the flow of blood on my sister because I either shoved her down or threw something at her. Only then could I say, “I’m not up to anything.” Mom’s are psychics. And good readers of eyes.
I thought of that the other day with a little girl in one of my swimming classes, which meets right after the class that had the terrified screamer in it. This girls eyes trust. They are confident, even if she might not be sure she herself is.
She had a small bubble on, which wasn’t doing much of anything so I took it off when she was floating on her back. She did just fine. It’s always fun to raise my hands out of the water so the kids can see they are doing it alone. Usually that’s when they fold like a taco, but not this girl. She smiled.
I told her to flip over and swim. She did. I told her that when she was tired she should flip onto her back. She couldn’t manage more than an odd, vertical spin with her head tipped back. She was very close, so we worked on it over and over, with my hand grabbing and turning her at the exact moment I said, “Flip over to your back.” Voila!
The lifeguard said to test her to see if she can bump up to the next skill level. I walked in front of her as she swam, her eyes seeing me, she’d take a breath and go right back under the water to blow bubbles. Over and over.
We were in eye-contact-lock-step. I was searching for any sign of panic or insecurity in those little blues. None. She passed. Now she advances and will have a different teacher. There is nothing like the look when you know someone “gets” it! Nothing. And sometimes as soon as they do. . .they move on. And that’s the best, but also the hardest part of reading eyes.