Do one thing a day that scares you…

….at least that is what the Lululemon mantra taped next to my computer monitor at work reminds me of daily. Do I do this daily? No. Unless you count the morning commute to work.  While it doesn’t happen often enough, I love the feeling of overcoming obstacles in life.  Nothing feels better than conquering a fear, proving yourself wrong, and making yourself proud.

I have talked about my cute quirky 7-year-old Cole on my blog enough that I’m sure most of you feel like you know him.  He is this wonderfully odd combination of qualities that make him exactly who he is.  He is the most tender-hearted, compassionate, loving child. He really sees the whole world. He cares about all the little things.  In contrast to this side of him, he is ridiculously stubborn. He is beyond a perfectionist. His fear of failure breaks my heart and makes me want to shake him all at the same time. I want him to enjoy the process not worry about being perfect.  How do you teach this to a 7-year-old?

I still have A LOT to learn when it comes to parenting and dealing with these situations. When I think I’ve figure it out, it changes. When I’m lost, I’m always surprised that I got it right.  What I have learned is that Cole has to do things when he is ready.  If we push, he refuses 100 times more than he would have if we didn’t ask. (There is nothing better than passing on our best qualities to our children!)  Tackling the world is definitely on his time, his pace, and when he is ready.

This past weekend, we spent a lot of time at the pool as a part of our weekend of nothing…together. Cole has gone from hanging out on the steps last summer to swimming and jumping off the edge – all in one day.  This summer he has mastered swimming, but he hasn’t been ready for the deep end or the diving board.  I knew the day would come when he’d be willing to go for it. That day was Saturday.  He decided he was ready to jump in and swim to the shallow end from the half way mark in the pool. He did it with no problems. He added another foot. Again, no problems. And then he added another foot.  Same result. He is a natural in the water.  I’m not saying he’s going to be an olympic swimmer or even on a high school swim team. He just loves the water.

Christian and his mom tentatively suggested that he try to dive.  To my surprise, he was all about it. One successful dive off the side of the pool turned into diving off the diving board.  One successful dive off the diving board resulted in diving off the diving board and swimming to the shallow end in one breath. Cannon balls, belly flops, and lots of diving board fun filled up the rest of the afternoon.

I love these moments when I can sit back and watch Cole conquer his world and overcome his fears. He is still talking about it. He is still so proud of himself. I want to whisper in his ear that this feeling is what happens when he decides he is ready to trying something new, but I won’t. I want to say that if he tried it 3 months ago when we knew he was ready he could have been doing this all summer. I don’t say any of these things because I kn0w they will make him crawl back into his shell. Right now I’m just enjoying the process of watching him enjoy his success. on his own terms. at his pace. when he was ready. (and secretly looking at swim teams and diving lessons for the fall. Just in case he is ready.)

Both of my water babies
Christian, Cole, and Grandpa John
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