Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Glorious Moments

We went to the pool and boy was it a scorching day, but because it was so hot, perhaps the hottest day of the year, people came out in droves, and we saw many of our friends. In fact, we saw a lot of friends we haven't seen in ages, so it was really nice. But the most glorious moment was that N had a fabulous moment of bravery, overcoming fear and anxiety and doing something not only that he'd never done, but was clearly pensive about doing in the first place. We are so proud of him.

The big moment was that he jumped into the pool off the diving board, which is a huge deal when you're five years old. In fact, he did it and inspired another kid, who was over six, thank you very much, to give it a try, as well. How's that for being a man?

It all started because his sister wanted to go for it. Both of our kids need to wrap their minds around something challenging, or should I say scary, before they go for it, and I'm glad for that. They are less impulsive and more cautious, which is not a bad thing. By the end of the day, she had decided that she wanted to dive off the board and went for it, and she loved it. Not wanting to be left behind, he decided he wanted to do it, too. The trouble was, he's not as experienced a swimmer, and he's younger. By far the youngest kid jumping off the board, but when he's determined, he's fairly tenacious.

He thought long and hard about it and decided the time had come. He took his place in line, got up, and jumped off. I was ready to jump in after him, but the rules were that they had to be able to do it themselves, and for his own self esteem, I felt he should do it, and he did. The problem was he was jumping off to the side in order to make it easier for him to swim to me, and the lifeguard said it wasn't allowed. She could tell he was not experienced and said there was a swim test he should take and if he passed, then he could jump off all he wanted. So we had to take the test.

It was simple enough - swim on his own for about 50 feet, with no help from me and no touching the sides. He was hesitant but went for it, but he only made it about 75% of the way before grabbing the ladder. I told him he had to go the distance, and he was incensed. Frustrated and mad at me, he said forget it, he was done, but it was still on his mind. It scared him a little, the idea of swimming all the way without me there, because I'm always there. I would be on the sidelines, but not in the water with him, as usual.

After a lot of back and forth and pondering it, he finally decided he could do it. The deal was, without taking a break, he would have to swim the distance. The problem is, he is great at swimming short bursts without stopping to take a breath. He just jets under the water like a fish. He is not, however, as experienced at taking breaths so he can swim longer distances, so this was going to be new for him. He psyched himself up, jumped in, and went for it.

I walked the distance with him, and he was fine. At one point I could see him wanting to go for the side, but he persevered and reached the rope. The lifeguard was watching, and he had passed. Golden moment. Now he had free reign on the diving board, and he went for it a couple more times, beaming with pride at his accomplishment. I was so proud of him, and some of our friends were watching and gave him his due accolades. It was a great moment for him because he clearly had reservations but overcame his fear and rose to the occasion.

It's moments like these that make you realize the magic of parenthood, though some may think of it as impossibly small. There's nothing like watching your kids on top of the world. When your kids are young and reach certain milestones, it's really special for the parents, and you love to watch them grow.

It was a special day, and we'll enjoy the warm after glow, because that's what life's all about. Until the next time, thanks for reading, and thanks to Torvald Lekvam for the pic.

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