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When Annabel was learning how to swim, one of the “requirements” to move up a level was to jump off of a diving board. I don’t really know why, maybe some of you swim teachers can enlighten me. Annabel, however, flatly refused to go on the diving board. She’d scream and cry and beg not to go on it, making herself hysterical and causing a scene. It was a constant source of stress. I didn’t want her to hate swimming! So I’d talk with her teachers and they would usually drop the requirement.

Now James is in swim lessons. Every day when we walk into the pool, he wants to stop and watch the kids participating in a diving class.


But when I’d ask him if he wanted to jump off the diving board, he’d reply, “No! That’s too scary!”

James has a really sweet swim instructor this time around. He’s really patient and fun, and James totally idolizes him. Still, when his instructor said today, “Do you want to jump off the diving board?” I fully expected James to refuse. But instead, he yelled, “YEAH! Let’s go!”

Annabel and I followed James and his teacher around the pool to the diving boards. The whole time, Annie kept saying, “He won’t do it. He’ll chicken out.” I don’t know if she believed that, or if she was hoping he would chicken out so he wouldn’t “beat” her at the diving board.

At first, I honestly wasn’t sure if he’d jump. He inched out onto the board at a snail’s speed.

After some coaxing from his swim instructor, James finally let go of the railing and scooted out a little more.

At this point, the kids in the diving class started cheering for him. That little bit of encouragement was all he needed.

I’m so damn proud of him, although I’m not sure why I thought he might not jump. This kid is probably going to grow up to be a stuntman (and I will need a LOT of Xanax).

After his first jump, he was ALL ABOUT the diving board. The kids in the diving class were so nice, letting him cut in line to get his jumps in. Maybe because they saw how determined he was?

so determined

James also got a little too comfortable on the board, breaking out his bossy finger to tell his instructor exactly where to catch him.

And now? Annabel is determined to jump off the diving board. Can’t let her little brother show her up!