Last year when Julia was taking swimming lessons she was PETRIFIED of jumping off the diving board. We would be driving to lessons and in the back seat she sat worrying about what she might have to do all the way to the pool.
Today, when she jumped off the diving board into the deep end and swam to the side of the pool, I had a lump in my throat. She also took two trips down the slide alone and without a life jacket and found her way to the edge of the pool, unafraid.
Right before the certificates were handed out at the end of class, her teacher led them in a game of Red Light Green Light. When the light was green the kids swam towards her back. When she turned to face them they had to stop and tread water. I watched Julia to see how she'd do, and saw her panic. Her teacher calmly said, "You're all right," and moved closer to her. Julia's face was a mixture of fear and relief. She was crying. Her teacher held her while she led the kids in the remainder of the game. Julia attempted a nervous smile, feeling a bit better. Again, mommy tears welled up.
One mountain climbed and a new once introduces itself in the distance. The bravery and the fear all wrestle for space in one tan and shivering body, standing at the edge of the pool.