It was a cloudy morning…
“Are you sure you don’t want to swim with Mommy?” I kneel down to his level, looking into his eyes.
“NO!!!” he barked in his toddler defiant.
“Okay, then I’ll just go by myself.” I stripped out of my t-shirt and short after taking off my back support braces.
I managed to do a few laps. Haven’t been swimming for ages met by 3 weeks of no workouts, my arms and legs quickly got tired and I was out of breathe.
Popped my head out of the water and leaned on the side of the pool. He was watching me intently.
“Let’s give it a try, please…” I pleaded knowing very well First Grade will involve a swimming lesson as one of the subject next year.
“NO! I don’t want to swim!”
“Look the kiddy pool is fun and it’s not deep.” Gently I took his hand into mine and we walked to the kiddy pool. I got in and showed him how shallow the water is.
His face showed he wasn’t convinced.
Looking back to that one fine Sunday afternoon before church. He was only a little over two years old. We were having coffee right next to a fish pond. He in his typical happy go lucky toddler behavior happily walked around and looking.
“Be careful, Pumpkin!” I warned him while keeping my eyes closely to his little self.
And then it happened!
In a blink of an eye…
Before I knew it, I had jumped into the pond, the legs of my pants soaked with a toddler heaving in my arms, crying as hard as his lungs allowed him to.
“It’s okay, baby…you’re okay…” I tried so hard to soothe the horror and panic out of his little face and soaked curls.
He was laid flat on the bottom of the pond, water covered him…the shallow water that was only a little over my ankle.
It scared him for life or so I thought…
Ever since that day he refused to swim. My boy who could stay in a tub for hours if I let him is traumatized and I don’t blame him.
Until that cloudy Friday morning…
“I promised you nothing will happen…it will be fun.” I pleaded one last time. May have also included some bribery somewhere between the lines.
The words of his pediatrician echoing in the back of my mind. Swimming will do him good. He have sensitive respiratory systems from being born a preemie and he’s prone to allergy. That is why a mild cough and cold have always lasted weeks for him.
One simple word that made my all beings jumped and rejoiced.
I slather his skinny long body with sunscreen, helped him with his swimming trunk.
He ran towards the slide by the kiddy pool.
Oh, be still my heart!
“Mbak, take a picture!” he told his nanny to grab Mommy’s phone.
I waited by the end of the slide. Eagerly and nervously waiting for my boy to face his fears.
“You can do it!” I cheered him on and before you know it, he splashed down. For a second or two I saw horror in his face that quickly dissolve washed away by his laughter.
“It’s fun Mommy! I want to go again.” He bravely climbed out of the pool and ran to the slide’s stairs again.
We ended up having a blast by the kiddy pool. I had forgotten that I am not suppose to squat down or bent over. Heck, who cares?! It was a huge milestone in our little lives.
My boy faced his fears.
It was one of those moments where it feels like heaven opened up for us. It was monumental!
“Can we go swimming again tomorrow, Mommy?” He hugged me, his eyes widen full of sparkles.
“Of course we can, baby!” My smile couldn’t be any wider as we climbed in the car to head home.
Have your child overcome their fears? How did it go?