The other day, I was sitting on the front porch, and I got a terrible feeling in my stomach. The boys had gone for a bike ride, and I just had a hunch that they were at the river. I have had a strong fear of them being down at the river ever since we moved to Courtright. The dock is a favourite hang out of most of the local kids, and we are the asshole parents who always say no. After having this feeling for a few minutes, I jumped in the car and drove down to the dock. The boys were there. They were not swimming, as they were not allowed, but I was still overwhelmed with fear, just because they were so close to the water. I talked to my husband about it that night. We both agreed that we are not comfortable letting the kids swim without adult supervision yet, but that maybe instead of me just being so fearful of them swimming at the dock, we could instead, take them there, and teach them. Let them learn about the current, and the waves, and what happens when a boat goes by, all while we are there to help. Because lets be serious, I grew up by the river and we swam there even thought we were not allowed. Kids are going to be kids, and not always listen. If they ever do decide to go down and swim alone, even if that time comes before we have decided to allow them, I at least want them to be prepared, to be as safe as possible.
It sounds silly and simple, and you might be thinking "duuuhhh", but my fear of the water is fierce. I am not afraid of swimming, or pools, or the beach, but I am super fearful of waves, open water, and the current. I am afraid of the kids being swept away from me. Ever since they were small, everytime we have been near the river, they have been adorned with life jackets, and a nagging mom, telling them to be careful, to walk slower, to move away from the edge. I realized though, while talking to Nigel, that all I was doing was passing along my fear. I was doing nothing proactive. So, for the last 2 days, for hours and hours, we have been swimming at the river. The important word in the last sentence is the we. One fear faced.
Usually, it is always the kids doing, and me watching. Just this weekend, I decided that needs to end. It needs to be us doing together. Just 3 years ago, I would not even wear a pair of shorts, because I was so embarrassed of my body. I wore pants even to the beach. I sat on the outside of the action so that I could be invisible. I don't want to be invisible anymore. Don't get me wrong, I don't want to be the centre of attention, not for everyone around us, but I really do want my kids to see me. I want them to see me trying new things, pushing my boundaries, having fun, laughing with them, thoroughly enjoying them, failing sometimes, and facing fears ( with a little caution and preparation, because, lets be serious, over-thinkers gonna overthink). Two fears faced. I think that is enough for one weekend.