Jump on in.

Where has this summer gone? I swear, it was just a month ago that I was planning out our entire summer, week by week. C went to four (yes, really) different camps, we went away for a wonderful and relaxing family vacation, and I became an auntie for the first time. We packed a LOT in, yet it still seems like the summer was much too short: C's first day of school is on Tuesday. This year, she will be in first grade, which honestly boggles my mind. How on earth do I have an almost seven year old, who devours chapter books and can (sort of) write her name in cursive?

Anyway, one of my best memories of the summer, and quite honestly as a parent, is C conquering her fear of swimming. Note that I did not say of the water; thankfully, she has always loved the water. But jumping in and swimming, without a "floatie," was a Big Deal. Despite the fact that she had taken swimming lessons for the last few summers, something just wasn't clicking. Swimming in water that was more than four feet deep was over her head, in more ways than one.

What finally got her over the hump? Getting out of the way. We took C to my parents' house on the lake, and they brought her to/from day camp every day, while my husband and I maintained our normal routine at home for a week. We talked on the phone every night, and one evening, my parents said, "When we get home from camp, C runs off the dock, and cannonballs into the water. Then she swims to the beach, runs up the lawn, and does it again. We have to drag her away from the water, when it's finally time for bed." My husband and I looked at each other, and our jaws dropped. This was the same girl who we'd been begging to swim, just weeks before?

When I went to pick her up a few days later, she asked me to watch her run and jump. She pounded down the dock, sailed off the end, and screeched Cowabunga. As she was paddling back to the ladder, my dad smiled proudly, and said, "We decided to make it fun. It's one of our new traditions." I high-fived my girl, and then she challenged me to a cannonball contest. (For the record, she won. My technique is a little rusty.)

As we begin the new school year, I encourage you to think about where you're getting "stuck." It could be that you need to get out of your loved one's way, clear the path for a teammate, or simply get out of your own head. Or, maybe finding the fun will be just the ticket you need to break through and drive progress...and if you're lucky, that progress may be beyond your wildest dreams.

Jump on in, friends. And Cowabunga to you all.


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