At least half a dozen girls, with their technicolor goggles and sun-tinted hair, jump into the deep end of the pool over and over. They don’t wade in gently from the shallow end. They do use the ladder, but only to climb back out so they can jump again - this time higher, bigger, farther - into the deepest part of the pool. Most of the girls can’t touch the bottom and still keep their heads above water but no one seems to care. They jump and jump and jump. There’s a lesson here, I think, as I check my watch and not-so-patiently wait for my daughters’ swimming lessons to finish.
I can’t remember the last time I jumped into the deep end; in a pool, or life for that matter. In all things, I am a wader by nature. I dip a toe, a hand, testing the temperature, making a plan, stalling. And before you ask the obvious, yes, I can swim. There’s no good reason for me to stall. Except the water could be cold. Or too crowded. Or too deep. Terrible excuses, I know (are we still talking about swimming here?). Heck, my four-year old is just learning to navigate the chlorine and yet, armed with her lucky life vest, she leaps with abandon. No “baby” end for her - the deep end is where the action is (as well as her big sister).
So where should I dive in? Write the great american novel? Run the Boston Marathon? Finally program my thermostat? Well, let’s not get carried away (uh oh, there I go with the toe-dipping again). With my kids’ summer wish list staring at me, I think I will cannonball into that. No more waiting until the perfect day. No more wading through excuse after excuse and putting off a fun adventure. Lucky them. And for me? After a year of merely doggie paddling in the running world, I think I will jump back into a race or two. Not quite the Boston Marathon but a deep end nonetheless.
I envy those brave girls. And I wanted to share with them some wise nugget that will keep them leaping into the abyss throughout their life. But I have no words of wisdom, except maybe thanks. Thanks for inspiring this wader to take some leaps herself. I can swim after all, so I am going to trust my legs and arms, knowing I am more than capable of treading water, no matter the depth. I mean really, how scary can it be to program a thermostat?