Do It Afraid

One of my son’s best friends had a diving party yesterday. The day after we got the invite, my son told me he didn’t want to go to the party. It was very strange to hear this as this is one of his close friends. It was indeed odd. So I asked why and it turned out that he was nervous about diving.

So I spoke to his friend’s mum to get some more information and she said there would be a low diving board if he was apprehensive and flumes to keep him occupied if diving wasn’t his thing.

I mentioned it to my son but he didn’t sound convinced it was the right thing to do. As expected, we had three or more conversations about how he didn’t think he wanted to go. By the time I realised he was really looking for a get-out-clause it was too late to cancel. So we struck a deal. If he didn’t feel comfortable about diving he didn’t have to do it.

We got to the party and there were about twelve children. I watched as child after child got on the diving board and my son stood on the sidelines observing. In an ever-so-gentle-tone-disguising-the-inner-tiger-mummy I asked if he wanted to go in. And I got a firm no and a look that told me it was non-negotiable – we had a deal.

After about ten minutes he ran up the stairs to the top of the flumes. And I waited for ages for him to come down. I saw one of his friends and asked what my son was doing. Turns out he was observing again. And then about five minutes later I saw him slide down.

And up he went again and again and again and again AND again bypassing his diving friends each time. I must mention that he ‘claims’ he’s afraid of heights so going up to the flumes was actually an accomplishment of some sort.

As I sat watching the other kids go for it with gusto I made a mental note to talk to his about overcoming his fears. Perhaps I was being overly concerned but that’s what mums do. I spent too many years being scared of doing so many things and have had regrets – I don’t want the same for my kids.

As if God heard my soon-to-be-articulated prayer, I saw him walk on to the diving board. I actually thought I was seeing things. Then his sister yell confirmed it, “mummy, he’s going to dive”. And I responded, “shhhhhhsh”. I just didn’t want to make him self-conscious and jinx it.

And then one-two-three, woooosh. Into the water he went and then swam to the stairs. I clapped – silently- and beamed outwardly. I have never been so proud of him because I knew how nervous he was about it.

After that dive, he went back on the board over and over and over AND over again. It’s a pity he only plucked up the courage in the last ten minutes but he did it. He was afraid – but he did it. And he has that memory for the rest of his life. It was an instructive moment for me.

Of course I had to ask what made him change his mind. My poor children, I’m sure when they are teenager I’ll be assaulted by eye-rolling over our chats and my psycho-analysis. πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚
Anyway it turns out that all his friends were telling him how amazing it was and he simply didn’t want to miss out on the fun. That’s the sort of peer pressure I love. πŸ˜‰

It’s Monday morning! Whatever it is you’ve been putting off, do it even if you have to do it afraid, just do it.

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