December 13, 2004
On Friday night my son went swimming with the Cub Scouts at the St. Louis Park Central Community Center. This was a lot more fun than I expected. My son's den was working on their Aquanat badges and some of the requirements for this badge are kind of challenging for 9 year old boys. These include both a 100 yard swim using a variety of strokes, and a "dive and four strokes" into the deep end of the pool. It is amazing how happy a father can get over a "dive and four strokes."
Let me explain. After getting warmed up the boys went to the deep end and started working on diving. None of them could get it, including my own son. It was somewhat comical to watch as the boys tried and tried to dive, but most of the time they just ended up doing belly flops. Anyway, after practicing for at least a half an hour my son was getting very frustrated. For probably the 500th time I told him, "You've got to get your head in the water first and kick up your feet. It won't hurt." He grumbled at me, got up on the platform, and actually did a perfect dive (for a 9 year old)! I was stunned and very happy.
So, after he got out of the water the scout leader running the show told him to do it again, but this time stay under water and do four strokes. This is the requirement for that part of the Aquanat badge. I was so sure he wouldn't be able to do another dive so soon after finally doing his first, and under pressure, but I told him to give it his best shot. So, he got up on the platform, put his hands over his head, put his head down, and dove in. Perfectly. Under water he did his four strokes and then he came up. When I saw this I swear tears came to my eyes as I clapped wildly and hooted and hollered at him. Words cannot describe how proud I was of him. I raced over to the pool ladder, pulled him out, and told him he was "the man!" as I slapped and hugged him.
Amazing how wonderful a "dive and four strokes" can be. He was the first to do it in our den, and both he and I were very happy. My son is not the most coordinated boy, and I doubt very much he will make a career in any type of sport. But for this one night he was the best. He was the one the other boys looked up to and were envious of. He doesn't get to have that feeling very often. I was very happy for him.
Posted by snackeru at December 13, 2004 8:50 AM | Life