It was a Monday evening and officially the last night of summer. Our oldest daughter was hanging out with friends which meant it was just my husband, myself and our soon to be seven-year-old. She was whining because “I want a friend. It’s not fair.” Blah, Blah, Blah.
I’m so ready for school to start. As much as I try to relish in the freedom of summer, I love the routine and schedule of the school year.
“Mama, can we have a family date?”
The hubs and I looked at each other and he suggested ice cream after dinner. Leaving with our treat and not quite ready to go back home, we made a last-minute decision to visit my aunt, whose porch and pool are part of our summer tradition.
But we didn’t pack bathing suits and the six-year-old was a little disappointed as she sat listening to the adults chatter.
I found a bag of old clothes in my trunk (that were supposed to be donated weeks ago) and told my daughter she could go swimming in something from the bag. After initial hesitation, she jumped in wearing an old pajama shirt and jogging pants.
“Mama, come swim with me.”
I don’t want to get my hair wet.
I don’t have my bathing suit.
The list of reasons not to jump in continued to roll through my head. But another voice began to overpower my tired mama’s mantra.
What do you have to lose by jumping in?
It’s the last night of summer.
Who cares if you swim in your clothes?
Think of the memory you will give her.
Think of the smile on her face.
So I walked away. I heard the disappointment in her voice as she saw me take my phone out of my pocket and place it on the table. Then her eyes grew curious as she watched me walk towards the pool.
“Mama, what are you doing?”
I looked at her with a mischievous grin and jumped in.
When my head popped out of the water, four adults were saying “What are you doing?” as I turned to see the biggest grin a six-year-old little girl could wear.
“Mama! You are swimming in your clothes!” she said with a giggle.
“Creating memories” was my response to the adults.
I’m sharing this with you because I think you are very much like me, resistant and filled with reasons why you can’t jump in. But I also think, just like I do, you have that other voice asking you “Why not?” and nudging you to loosen up and make a splash they will remember.
Next time you are given this opportunity, I hope you decide to jump in and create the memory.