Into the Deep End
I’m always surprised by those moments when I really feel like a dad. I know I shouldn’t be, but I am. There are those times when I find myself explaining some lesson to K-Man and wondering where the hell I come up with this stuff? Then there are those times when he does something that surprises me and the pride is overwhelming.
Today was one such day for the latter.
We’ve been working with K-Man on his swimming throughout the (so-called) summer. He tried lessons, but they didn’t really take. The kid loves being in the water (any water), but he’s just not all that interested in learning how to swim. That said, he’s perfectly willing to try to teach himself. And, he’s the king of watching other people, kids, whomever do anything and then trying himself.
As a bit of back story, the kid went through a pretty serious SCUBA diver infatuation phase. He watched all things SCUBA. He loved to check out fish. So, it’s no surprise that he loves his mask and snorkel. And, I suppose it’s no surprise that despite the fact that he can’t actually swim, he’s perfectly capable of breathing underwater through a snorkel. I guess I should have known that when he said to me this morning, “Daddy, I want to swim like a SCUBA diver” that something was going on.
Today, the kid got in the pool, asked for his mask and snorkel and swam across the pool just like a SCUBA diver with a slow, easy, modified breast stroke. One end to the other. Back and forth. Rinse and repeat. He swam more lengths today than I have in my entire life. It was amazing. Yes, it was amazing because today marks the day that my kid seems to have taught himself to swim. But it was also a lesson in perseverance and desire. He wanted it. He knew it. He even visualized it. He did it.
As we were leaving the club, I told him I was proud of him. Without thinking, I said, “That was so effing awesome, K-Man” (though I used the real word – not effing). He replied. “I know.” And after a few seconds, he said, “Effing awesome.” Didn’t think I could be more proud, but I was.