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Coffee+Crumbs: Just Do It Scared

My daughter learned to swim while screaming.

My son was fearless in the water. When Elliott was two, I’d start ripping my clothes off as we headed to the pool because I knew as soon as we’d get there, he’d fling himself into the water and sink to the bottom like it was nothing and wait happily until I pulled him up. I swear he had gills.

Evie, on the other hand, was terrified of this uncontrollable entity. Water moved without her permission. It splashed her in the face and got in her eyes. She wasn’t just scared of the water. She was angry at it.

After an entire summer of nonstop howling on the side of the community pool, the following spring I signed her up for lessons at our local Dive Center. We had to punch through the fear before spending another year torturing our neighbors.

During her first swimming lesson she sat on the steps and raged as the other kids splashed around her. She fought the pool, shrieking louder and louder. The other moms and dads tried not to look at me and I fought the urge to pull her out. She had to learn to swim for her own safety, and the earlier the better. We had to overcome this. I wondered if I should bring earplugs for the other parents. READ MORE