DO WHAT SCARES YOU… (+ OTHER THINGS I’VE LEARNED FROM WATCHING MY KIDS AT SWIM LESSONS)

I learn so much from my kids.

Sometimes they do or say something that touches my heart and reminds me of things I already know and other times they blow my mind in a way that changes my heart and how I see things. Which is what recently happened as I watched Griffin, who is not a fan of water (understatement of the year), go through swim lessons for two weeks earlier this summer. By the end of it, he had learned to swim and I had learned what it means and looks like to do something that scares you.

It might seem a little dramatic or even like I’m reaching so bear with me… Usually when I think, read or see the phrase “DO WHAT SCARES YOU!” I feel encouraged and empowered to take on the world and make some big courageous change. But as I watched that brown eyed boy above do something that scared him (be in the water!) the process looked very different. It didn’t look like a little boy doing a cannon ball into the deep end to overcome his fear. There was no grand act of courage or big splash… instead, there was a decision. A decision to sit on the stairs in the pool (fighting back tears) when he really wanted to sit with his parents. That lead to the decision to put his face in the pool over and over again even though he would get water up his nose and in his mouth. Which lead to the decision to trust his teacher’s lead and urging to do a little more each time he was in the water. The best part was that he went at his own pace, not worried about the rest of his swim mates or how he measured up (can I get an amen!?). There wasn’t an ounce of comparison!

Do you know what happened by the end of two weeks? He was getting his whole head in the water, diving for rings, jumping off the edge and having the time of his life. The boy that was fighting back tears in the beginning had gained so much confidence and was thriving in a situation that would normally send him into an anxiety attack and had kept him from fully enjoying summer, family vacations and even tubby time at night.

Want to know something else I’ve learned from putting my kids in swim lessons?

Just because you’re not a natural at something (cooking, dancing, public speaking, taking photos, writing, singing, organizing, etc.) at first, doesn’t mean it’s not something you could be great at. When Tilly and Espen first started lessons 4 years ago they were definitely fish out of water. They were both a little awkward — Tilly was wild in the water and Espen was stiff and rigid — but you would never guess that was ever the case if you watched them swim today. They are both, in their own ways, really beautiful to watch move through the water. Of course, as their mama, I’m a bit biased :)

(besties!)

(life at the pool with our piles of stuff and new friends and instagram stories and me reminding the kids to “walk, please!” a million times and snacks. lots of snacks.)

(the bottom two pics were taken by tilly and I have all the heart eyes for them and the beach balls under griff’s shirt :)

So now I can’t stop thinking about those fears that keep me from enjoying life to the fullest and how I can break them down into small decisions…. Like getting my wisdom teeth out, because ow!!! Or signing up for dance classes, because I’m not a natural dancer. Or moving forward with certain parts of my business because it’s outside of my comfort zone.

I also can’t stop thinking about God’s love and faithfulness and thought of a dozen scriptures I could share but then found this one at the last minute. And this one too. They both say so much in so few words.

If you’re up for chatting I would love if you shared one thing that scares you? Or one lesson your kid(s) have taught you lately?

XO, Rae

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