Saturday, December 8, 2012

Freezing Water

For weeks, my son has been asking to go swimming. We live in Florida and while it isn't snowing, it can get down to 50 degrees at night (don't you feel sorry for me?). This makes our unheated pool creep down in temperature too. Each time my oldest asks to jump in I will say, "I know you want to swim but the water is cold. Really cold. So no, you can't get in the pool." This of course, gets me nowhere.

"But I WANT to swim! It's not THAT cold!" he would exclaim. This interaction would typically continue until I made it clear that even if he asks me 67 times, I will still say no.

Yesterday must have been the 68th time. He asked and I thought, "You know what - He won't know it's cold until he feels it himself." I told him to go for it and sat down to watch with my youngest munching blueberries in my lap. My oldest dipped his toes in then inched his way all the way into the pool saying, "OOOOH! It's SOOOO COLD!!" No kidding.

Regardless of the temperature, he had a fantastic time splashing and swimming for five full minutes. He climbed out of the pool and into a warm towel. We put on his warmest pajamas and hugged for a few minutes. He pulled out of the hug, looked me in the eyes and said, "Yeah, that was really cold. Let's not go swimming for awhile."

I hate that we, as humans, have to learn things through experience but we do. No matter how many times I told him, he didn't buy it until he felt it. It reinforced what I already know but try to change all the time. I wish I could protect them from all harm with my words. I wish that my mistakes in judgement could be 100% passed onto them. But they will have to dip their feet in freezing pools many more times as they learn the ways of the world. So I will do my best to let them and be right there afterward for a long hug.

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