Saturday, July 3, 2010
Learning from Simple Moments
Yesterday, on a whim, I took the kids to our city pool. Though some of them have gone there on field trips, and my oldest took his swimming lessons there--I've never gone. This is partly due to the fact that, up until a couple months ago, most of my kids were afraid of the water and couldn't swim.
A little background. I love swimming. I grew up in AZ and, even though we didn't have a pool, I had ready access to other pools. I swam a lot. In fact, I was swimming the day my dad died. But I digress. Seriously, I love the water. I love swimming. And I miss it.
We're going to skip over my pathetically out of shape form and my equally pathetic swimsuit and get right to the fun part. The kids about raised the roof when I told them we were going to the pool. It cost us $10 to get in, but I think I can manage that a couple times a month. It's really worth it.
The pool is actually 3 pools. They have the baby pool, which is at it's deepest about 2 ft. They have the current pool, which is actually where we spent most of our time. At it's deepest it's about 3.5 feet, but has a fun current you can laze away in or a water slide.
And that's where I got stuck. Oh, my goodness. I LOVED the slide!
See, I'm one of those people who learned pretty early on that mortality touches everyone. In short, everyone dies. And it could come at any time. And as part of a financially impaired (like the PC there lol) family growing up, I didn't have a ton of opportunities to do crazy, fun stuff. I did my share, but they didn't involve heights, water slides, or upside down roller coasters.
And I hate heights. Seriously. Hate. Them. I freak out when my husband tries to put me on his shoulders, and he's only 6'2".
But about five years ago, I was faced with a choice. And I realized that, for my kids, I have to take risks. I don't want them to grow up with my silly fears. And I don't want to be the mom who "doesn't do that." More, though, I don't want my fears to influence their thinking.
So I rode the upside down roller coaster. With my eyes shut. Screaming the whole time. And had a blast.
Back to the water slide. I kept my eyes on the steps in front of me going up, and didn't think overly hard about the height. The slide itself curves, so you can't really see how high you are. Easy peasy. And I had my 6 yr old with me. I can't let her see my fear, or she might decide to be afraid. We sat down, and launched ourselves into the slide.
And we had a blast. And went back. Again. And again. And again. :)
If you've ever been to Lagoon Park in Farmington, UT, you know about every year they add a new ride. When I took my son as a reward for reading 10,000 minutes last year, the newest ride was Wicked. If you don't know, they launch you almost straight up, take you over this tiny hump, and then drop you straight down. Then you go around the rest of the track.
My chest gets tight just thinking about it. But, with my son, I did it. I was scared his thin frame might shoot out of the restraints the whole time, but we survived.
At it's most base level, I know why I do these things that scare me. It's noble and all that I want my kids to live uninfluenced by my irrational fears, but it's deeper than that.
I refuse to be ruled by my fears. I will not live a life of fear.
And, in the meantime, I get to have some serious fun with my kids at the pool.