Last summer I recall having one of those crisis times where, like I think all parents do, I had a few moments of thinking, "Oh my goodness, my child is going to be 30 yrs. old and still doing "fill-in-the-blank-here." For me, it was thinking my children might never venture into water deeper than 6 inches without a ring floatie.
Jason and I tried to get them to wear life jackets, but neither of the boys were going to have anything to do with that. If we expected them to venture off the steps at the pool or wade out any distance at all in a body of water, they required the safety of a ring floatie. No amount of encouraging, bribery or shaming (OK, kidding (a little) on the shaming part) would convince them that swimming might actually be enjoyable without the floatie. So I remember thinking, "Just how big do they make those things? Pretty soon, we're going to need some serious inner tubes if these boys don't get over this pretty fast!"
Fast forward to last night. We took them swimming at the pool in my mother-in-law's apartment complex. Only the floaties from last year are "missing." All we had were the life jackets. Gasp!
Micah decided, since he's a little older and a little wiser now, to test the flotation quotient on the life jacket- a HUGE step from last summer. Once he realized that 1) mom and dad weren't lying when they said the life jacket would help him float and 2) it's actually pretty fun to swim and float when your arms and legs aren't wrapped around the metal bar holding on for dear life at the pool steps, he had a fabulous time trying out his new-found freedom.
Cade, being the younger brother, was a bit more reluctant to float into the open waters of the pool. Fortunately for him, Micah was apparently channeling Tony Robbins last night, because he kept telling Cade, "If you just believe in yourself, Cade, you can do anything. Just believe in yourself and you can do it!" If you know, Micah, though, you know his voice only has 1 volume (unless he's whining)- loud. So not only is the Cade being imparted with the spirit of Tony Robbins, but the entire population of the pool area is starting to feel pretty motivated.
Eventually Cade decided to take the plunge (no pun intended). And bless his heart- he was paddling his arms and kicking his legs like nobody's business. The whole time he kept repeating his new mantra, "I'm believing! I'm believing!" I'm not kidding. With Micah reminding him to "believe" in himself and Cade chanting "I'm believing!" we were like a traveling Zig Ziglar conference.
Through my laughter, I asked Jason if he was planning to correct Micah's "believe in yourself and you can do anything" theology. His reply was "Where do I even start?" Honestly though, believe-in-yourself-and-you-can-do-anything is not exactly a philosophy to which we subscribe. We're more of the trust-in Jesus-and-you-can-be-anything-God-wants-you-to-be sort.
While I'm not sure where Micah picked up that phrase and we will have to work on fine-tuning his theology a bit, I'm super-excited that he was able to become a more confident swimmer and that he was encouraging his brother also. And Cade was believing with all his little heart.
The very best part, though, was that they were finally so worn out they slept until 8:00 this morning. Since they usually rise anytime between dark:30 and 7:00 AM, this morning was nothing short of a minor miracle. I believe there will be many many more evening swims to come this summer. I believe!