Monday, June 30, 2014

The Not-so-deep End

When it comes to a sense of daring or desire to engage in death-defying, envelope-pushing activities, I have a lifelong deficit. 

Pictured: Item #129,429 on my "Bucket List." 
I've never been skydiving. I've never bungee jumped. I never swam with sharks and never jumped in the mosh pit at a Metallica concert. Never wanted to do any of these things. When I was younger I skied a lot. But I was always more of a "blue-circle" kind of guy as opposed to the double black diamonds. 

Mrs. Blackwell has a similar relationship with danger and the need to get the adrenaline pumping in that she doesn't like danger and sees no need whatsoever to get the adrenaline pumping. 

All this said, I had a bit of an adventurous streak when I was very young in that I loved to swim — even before I knew how. My mom is fond of telling me that when she took me to my first swim lesson as a two-year old she was confident that her little boy was going to do just fine, eventually. 

As a less rambunctious kid, her expectation was that I'd approach swimming like I did most things — slowly and with suspicion. She was then very surprised when I opted to not wait my turn with the instructor and simply jumped right in the deep end. 

In his two years on the planet, I wouldn't say that the boy is trepadatious but I'd also say "impulsive" is not a word I'd use to describe him. He's somewhere comfortably in the middle; so I suppose I really didn't have much of an expectation when we visited our neighborhood pool recently. 

That, as it turns out is a good thing because he certainly would have defied any preconceptions I might have had. 
On behalf of parents of toddlers everywhere,
I humbly disagree.

It turns out the boy does indeed love swimming. But he also loves getting out of the pool and then walking two feet away from the pool's edge stopping and then excitedly jumping forward in small increments until finally getting close to the water again. 

Essentially, he hops, closer, closer, and still closer, before finally taking the plunge — bum first — into the concrete edge of the pool. If his objective was to get his legs wet and his bum bruised, there could be no better plan. At least that's what would've happened if mom and dad weren't there to move him a couple inches forward and into the water. 

This pattern — getting out, circling two feet away from the pool's edge, before hop-hop-hopping his way toward the water again — repeated itself about a dozen nerve-wracking  times. 

The boy did deviate and make successful leaps into the water from the edge of the pool with no help from either myself or Mrs. Blackwell. He also decided to stay in the water for minutes at a time on several occasions too. 

But, for the most part the pattern was hop-hop-hop-jump whilst mom and dad helped steer him from the concrete and into the water. 

Regardless of the boy's approach, there was one constant throughout our time at the pool — the smile etched on his face. Of course this was offset by the deep lines of concern on his parents' foreheads as they steered him toward the water. 

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