Thursday, July 28, 2011

Diving Boards

I could tell you were scared.

When you raised your hand and said you’d jump off the diving board, I’m not sure you really thought things through.

Your teacher helped you out of the pool with a few other classmates that decided to brave the diving board. Most of the class, I noticed, stayed behind. The diving board, after all, was in the Deep End. You followed dutifully behind your class to the diving board and got in line.

One of your classmates went first. She marched across the diving board as if she owned it and leaped into the water where your teacher caught her. You were taking this all in, staring intently at your teacher to make sure that yes, she’d catch you.

Another classmate went next. This one was nervous, a small girl who walked across the diving board and paused at the very end. She looked down, swallowed, and backed up as though she had just spotted a monster.

It was at this moment when you let two of your classmates go ahead of you. I think you spotted the hesitation in someone else and that began to doubt your choice.

That nervous classmate climbed off the diving board and got behind you.

“Was it scary?” you asked her.

“Yes,” she answered. “But I’m going to try again.”

I watched you take a deep breath. It was then I knew that you would do it. I could see the determination on your face.

Finally, it was your turn. You climbed up the stairs, gripping the rails. You shuffled across the diving board. It was like a string had been tied around your ankles. Shuffle, shuffle, shuffle.

And then you were at the end.

You swallowed.

You scratched your leg.

You decided to sit down.

“No, Natalie,” your teacher said kindly as she waited below. “You have to jump.”

I’m not sure if you suddenly decided the end of a diving board was a fantastic place to play tea or what.

You stood up and took another deep breath. You bent your knees.

You did it.

The teacher asked if you wanted to go again. I thought you might say no. But you said yes.

This time, you were ready.

And you walked across the diving board.... if you owned it.


  1. :) So sweet...

    ...and nicely written.

  2. go girl!!!
    i so mighta cried.. but i'm just like that.. lol

  3. Yea!! So awesome when they beat their fears and do something new.

  4. Future Olympic Diver in the making!! =)

  5. that's so beautifully written - I love what you captured. And good for Natalie!

  6. What a proud mom! What a precious moment!

  7. That's fantastic! What an awesome lesson for life. How much do we miss out on because we sit down instead of just jumping that first time even though it seems a little scary?!

  8. Yay! How fun! Part of me as a mother would want to say, she can sit and scoot off if she wants! But that is why teachers are there, to push them because the CAN do it. And she did great!

  9. I have pics of my granddaughters doing this very thing 2 years ago. One was scared and wouldn't and the other did it. I was proud of them both. I can hear the pride coming from you too!

  10. How brave!! Looks like she is having fun and cooling off from that crazy heat you've been having. :)

  11. Yahoweee!!! Yay for diving off into the deep end! (And thank God for kind teachers to catch them).

  12. A small jump, but a big step for her!

  13. Beautifully written! She is growing up so fast! I'm so glad you had your camera ready to capture the moment. Great job, Natalie!

  14. Amber - that was beautiful! WAY TOO GO NATALIE!

  15. Whoo hoo that rocks! That is one heck of a leap of faith and mastered it!!!

    Thanks for stopping by & saying hi :)

  16. That is scary- good for her to face her fears!

  17. Awesome! I loved how she overcame that fear. My oldest daughter jumped for the first time last year and went crazy afterwards. She just kept screaming, "I did it!" "I can swim!"

  18. WooooHooo Way to Go Natalie!!!!

  19. That is an awesome play by play! The sky is the limit now.....

  20. get it Natalie! be proud momma!

  21. brave girl! thats the way to do it.

  22. That's something to be proud of :)

    I'm still a bit intimidated by diving boards, and the most I can do is a cannonball (sadly, I can't dive). The problem doesn't lie in the swimming...the problem lies in the fact that I am near phobic of heights. I will go on roller coasters (and nearly pass out if I look down). I will go on balconies (and nearly pass out if I look down). I think you see the pattern. Then I panic and step away and I feel like I can't breathe.

    I can't do more than the regular diving board- I've tried the second level high dive, and it scares the shit out of me. Panic attack. (I have panic disorder, so this isn't a surprise). St. Peters, Missouri has an excellent facility that has Olympic diving trials on occasion, so they have all the levels of diving boards, but they only open the lower two to the public. I'll stick to jumping off a regular diving board, or just the side of the pool, since I can't dive anyway.

    Proud of your daughter. Keep encouraging her! I think you have a gem of a daughter ;) I want to meet her and give her a hug.

    * Perpetually Me *

  23. Yay Natalie! Personally I prefer to slide into the pool, only crazy people jump off a diving board.

  24. Way to go!
    I can tell from the great post that Momma is most proud of you!

  25. No stopping her now. Soon it will be back flips and cannon balls.


  26. That is an awesome Mommy moment! Man- i still won't jump off of a board...and I am 39ish!

  27. Fabulous moment, written so beautifully!

  28. Rock on, Nat! Sounds like she's doing as well in her swimming lessons as big brother does in his! *huzzah*


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