Feel How Fast My Heart Is Beeping

Dreams. Goals. Ambitions. We all have them. Some feel far fetched. Others feel attainable with varying degrees of difficulty. Human beings have the capacity to do incredible things – “incredible” being relative. I believe in limitless possibilities when vision and courage align in right moments.   

When we know ourselves well enough we can determine how, and in what directions to push ourselves. It’s pretty cool to find accomplishment at the end of a deep dig that breaks a sweat on our brow and has us wondering, if only for a moment, whether or not we could do it. 

Knowing, believing, stretching, and having faith through challenges and triumphs, can all enhance whatever path we find yourself on. 

Our community pool has a policy that only kids who complete “the deep water test” can use the diving board. It’s a right of passage. It has been since I was a kid. I’ve now had the pleasure of watching all four of our children pass it. Most recently, our youngest. He’s six.

It was our first day at the “the pool” in long time. We skipped last summer because of COVID. The kids were thrilled to be back. The older siblings quickly found their friends and set up in various favorite spots: the deep-end wall (good for seeing who can touch the bottom first), the shallow end (good for playing in the fountains or pretending to be sharks), and the middle of the pool (where they leap around throwing, catching, and diving for water toys, and occasionally playing “sea monster”). 

`The youngest, yet to complete “the deep water test,” grabbed my hand and said, “Daddy, can you come with me to practice?”

“Of course,” I replied.

Practice he did. We spent some time repeatedly swimming the length of the pool without stopping, without touching the wall, and without hanging on the lane lines. He didn’t even need to use the roll over technique for breathing. The kid was ready.

After practicing for a while he turned to me, with a huge smile on his face, and he said, “Feel how fast my heart is beeping!”

He took my hand, placed it over his heart, and reiterated, “See!”

I did. His heart was “beeping” pretty darn fast. The smile on his face was the kind that couldn’t be helped, the kind you can’t cover up – no matter how hard you try. Genuine joy.

He was beside himself with excitement. The enthusiasm was brimming over. He knew he was ready. He was savoring the feeling. The anticipation of well earned accomplishment was sweeping over him and permeating every fiber of his being. I asked if he wanted me to get a lifeguard so that he could take the test. He told me, “Not yet.”

He took my hand and lead me to the water slide. We each rode the slid about half a dozen times. All the while, the smile remained on his face. 

I saw him glaring over to the lap lanes each time he climbed the stairs to the slide launch. He was allowing for a long lead up so that he could simmer in the anticipation and excitement. He knew he could do it. He enjoyed the feeling of his fast “beeping” heart. He was living in the moment, a moment he would never get to experience again. Once he completed “the deep water test” he would never have to take it again. A milestone. A right of passage. 

When he was ready he complete it with ease. Then, he walked me directly to the diving board and initiated the next challenge  – jumping off. He asked me to watch carefully and be ready to jump in if he needed me. I was ready. A fast “beeping” heart once again.  

I read this quote the other day: “Life’s journey is not to arrive safely at the grave in a well preserved body, but rather to skid in sideways, totally worn out, shouting ‘Wow…what a ride!’”

When we love with open hearts and minds, when we offer support and encouragement, and when we learn, grow and celebrate through challenges and triumphs, we serve our kids well.

In it together for the kids!

Live. Love. Listen. Learn. Lead. Thanks!

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