bravery.

How old were you when you first went off the diving board? Do you remember when you first climbed the stairs to the high dive? Do you remember how small you felt? And how incredibly high up you were? I remember feeling like the whole diving board was shaking a little as I was climbing up. I remember thinking that surely my knees would collapse and I would be the first person to ever just fall off the side of the board. And I remember just how far away the rails that I was supposed to hold on to felt from my body.

I can't remember how old I was. It sure does seem like I was... I don't know... 10?

My seven year old just finished a round of swim lessons last week. His instructor announced on the day before the last lesson that they would have a "fun day" on their last day and get to go off the diving board. I heard my son shout with a thrill in his voice from across the pool, "the high dive??!!"
His coach replied, "You guys want to go off the high dive?"
And my son verbally led the pack with, "YEAH!" as I saw him splashing and grinning from ear to ear. He was completely thrilled.

It turns out that they weren't allowed to go off the high dive. Nicholas made it through without too much disappointment. He did eagerly climb the not-that-short-other dive and was the only kid who bounced a little before jumping in. It was fun. It was fine. It was done.

But then today happened. We went to the public pool- the one with the regular 4 steps up diving board. Nic was thrilled that he was finally having free range in the pool, to do as he pleased. He marched right up to the board, waited in line, and without one warning, or "hey dad, watch me!", he did a front flip off.
His third time to ever be on a diving board in his life. A front flip.
The kid is much braver than me. I was astonished... and just glad I happened to be watching. After that, he continued on and on with a flip, a dive, a cannon ball, another flip, flip, dive...

Oh, and just don't tell me if your little kid has been doing that since they were three because right now, I just want to enjoy feeling proud of my brave little one.