Last summer, I signed my son up for a swim intensive that I heard was a MUST DO on the Mommy Train to Raising a Perfect and Overly Extra-Curricular'd Child. Jonah proved to be tough as nails through the two week boot camp, but unfortunately, this summer, something changed. His willingness to swim ceased. He became scared. Unsure. Nervous.
Knowing that forcing him to swim is pretty much a parenting no-no, for the past few weeks, we decided to take a lax approach and ignore his fear all together. When he made strides and efforts to do something "brave," like un-dig his fingers from our necks in the pool, we showered him with praise. Little by little, he decided he was going to "swim." (Kind of). One night in the bath, he told me that he could put his face in the water (and hold his nose). (Before you say "big deal, he's almost 5," you have to remember how terrified he was). So he shows me...
J: Isn't that so brave, mommy?
Me: Jonah, I am so proud of you. I knew you could do it.
J: Yep! Because I trusted myself.
Me: Aw, I love that. You "trusted" yourself???
J: Yep. And now I can put my face in the water.
Me: Jonah, this makes me so happy.
J: How happy?
Me: Like (holding out my arms) sooooooooooooo happy.
J: Is your whole body happy?
Me: Yep. My ENTIRE body is happy.
J: Your head?
Me: Oh, my head is SO happy.
J: Your feet?
Me: (Wiggling my toes) My toes are jumping for excitement.
J: Um... Your tummy?
Me: Yes, my tummy is smiling with happiness.
J: (He grins mischievously) Is, um... is your tushy happy?
Me: Jonah, yes. Even my tushy is happy.
J: Mommy, I have a question. But I need to use a bad word. But we're in a bathroom. So I will whisper it...
Me: (I tilt my head, unamused) What is it, Jonah?
J: Mommy, is your Pa.... Pa.... Pa... Is your PACHINA so happy?
I CRACK UP.
Me: Yes, Jonah. Yes. Even my "Pachina" is happy.
I guess my boy is on to something. Life is good. Very good. So, I am happy... From head to toe and everything in between.