Earlier this summer, I sat chilling poolside watching as a soft breeze agitated the water just enough to create small ripples in the cool sparkling water – when suddenly, Marley strode over to where I was sitting. By the look on her face I could tell she was very upset. “Dada”, she said while desperately fighting back tears, “that girl over there was teasing me and said, ‘Ah ha, you still wear floaties!’ I instantly empathized with her, as I looked in the direction that she was pointing to see who had dared to riddle my child! I took a deep calming breath, and I did my best to console her by affirming that it’s alright that she was still wearing floaties because for now, they are very necessary to helping her to stay afloat in the water.
I asked her if she was having fun? Head down looking at the ground, she sniffed and replied, “Yes.” I then asked her if we allow other people’s thoughts of us to curtail our fun, or to diminish the positive opinions we have of ourselves? She looked up at me and quietly answered, “No.” However, I don’t think my attempts at a pep talk carried as much weight as the taunt she had just received from this little tormentor, because she took off her floaties, slipped them back into the beach bag, and slunk down in the chair behind me for the remainder of the pool visit.
Although before today, she was always too nervous to swim without her floaties – no matter how much Rach and I insisted. But little did I know at the time, she had sat there and made the mental decision to never wear a pair of floaties again!
From that moment on, it became her mission to learn how to swim without the assistance of a flotation device. Not only was she no longer interested in being helped by any sort of life preserver, but once while Rach was in the pool attempting to give her some simple instruction, Marley stressed – “No Mama, I have to do it by myself…don’t help me, not even if I drown!”
Of course that would never be an option!!
But this certainly is a testament to her unwavering determination! And in no time at all, wouldn’t you know it, Marley was out there swimming on her own like a little mermaid! Not to be out done, I knew it wouldn’t be long before Delaney would see this and follow suit. So now two of my little daughters are in the water plunging, dipping, spinning, floating, and whirling! They are doing their own thing in the pool! They’ve taken to the water so well that we signed them up for swim preparatory lessons to refine their skills in anticipation of them one day soon joining an area swim team.
So thank you little tormenter! (Na Na Nana Naa Naa)…you unwittingly provided the proper incentive to further their aquatic potential.