Our youngest daughter has never been what you would call a ‘water baby’. Both of our daughters grew up around water, but while our oldest (now 12) would spend hours swimming in the pool, the ocean, the lake… a shallow puddle. Our youngest (now 10), on the other had, would be out within 30 minutes. In her defence, while she is a strong swimmer and had fun, she is rail thin and gets cold very easily. But, all this to say, swimming was not really her thing.
Imaging our surprise, when vacationing this winter, when our youngest decided she wanted to swim 1,000 laps in the pool over the course of our two week vacation. Even more surprising, we are only on day 4 and she has already surpassed 600 laps, knocking off 307 yesterday afternoon.
My wife and I are trying to figure out what has given rise to this. It is not love of swimming. While she, honestly, is a beautiful swimmer, it has never been a passion. When I step back, I think two rethinks are going on:
1. She loves attention and she adores the adulation she is getting by being an ‘extreme’ swimmer. But this is not the whole thing; I know she is a bit of a drama pig, but there are only a few of us around and the attention she is getting is pretty light
2. She is a really determined kid. When she puts her mind to something, on her own terms, she is relentless.
I really like to see this determination come out in her. Both my wife and I have always worried a bit that, in a sincere effort to show balance and be good parents, we sometimes hide from our kids how seriously we take our work and other commitments. We actually do have very demanding jobs and put ourselves through very strenuous and serious health and fitness regimes; but we don’t play this up with our kids. With our kids, we focus on fun, learning and family. While this has given us an amazing, balanced family life, I have always worried that out kids would not develop the seriousness required to commit to tough things and see them through.
I am thrilled to see this determination come out.