Once upon a time a sweet one year old boy was walking in the lake between his nana and his mommy. It was a beautiful July day. The skies were blue. The boaters were out en masse.
A wave rippled to shore knocking over this small boy, sending him into the 12 inch depths of the water. His nana quickly grabbed him up. His mommy rushed over to hug him and kiss his terrified face.
The boy wanted out of the water. He played in the sand on the shore the remainder of the day.
Each summer after this the boy did not want to get in the water. He wore his life jacket and sat on the shore with his feet dangling. He would walk in the 2 inch water if mommy was walking with him, holding his hand. He certainly wasn’t going to go in the deep part or put his head anywhere near the water.
This continued for quite some time. The boy had a brother that was a fish in a past life. The mommy decided to try swim lessons to encourage the boy and provide safety for his brother.
Those lessons brought about some change. Before we knew it the boy was happy to be in the water. He even wanted to show off!
The boy took a break from lessons and most other things because life was getting to be too much. He gained confidence in other areas of his life. His mommy decided to try lessons again to get him ready for the fun of summer.
He did amazing. His mommy had tears of joy all over again. The boy willingly jumped into the deep end of the pool. His mommy was mentally thrown back to a time when she was dropped into the deep end of the pool by a young, inexperienced swim teacher. She was thrilled for him that his teachers were calm and patient. They did not force him. He was able to make the decision on his own.
Today he asked his mommy if he could be in fast swimming. She wasn’t sure what that meant. He explained that he wanted to be in swimming races. She nearly cried again. Her little boy, who for so long hated the water, was asking to be a competitive swimmer.
She talked to him about taking more lessons. She shared her joy and excitement. Finally a competitive sport that didn’t require that he interact with a lot of other children. Something he could be good at all on his own. Something he was becoming good at and falling in love with.
His mommy promised to show him video of Michael Phelps. She talked about the gold medals he won in the last Olympics. She reminded him that he can be anything he wants to be and do anything he wants to do as long as he tries hard enough. She shared that while he may not be Michael Phelps, he can certainly strive for that kind of success.
The boy is finding his place in this crazy world. Amazingly he’s finding it in the last place she thought he’d ever look.