Flash back. My daughter was 9 years old. She’s watching (with envy) her younger brother do back flips from the edge of the pool. He’s sleek. Effortless. Natural. Dad meanwhile is haranguing his daughter. YOU CAN DO ANYTHING YOU PUT YOUR MIND TO! Over and over. Relentless as only her Dad can be. Daughter finally concedes. She ekes up to the edge of the pool…anxiously looking over her shoulder into the pool…and then back down to her feet while wiggling her toes. She takes a deep breath. Bends her knees. And leaps. And proceeds to dive 3″ or so SHORT of clearing the edge – - glancing off the non-slip abrasive concrete – - ripping an 18 inch gash down the middle of her back. There was a calm silence for about 2-3 seconds and then she bellowed: DAD, I TOLD YOU THAT I COULDN’T DO THIS. And then she ran into the house into the arms of her Mother.
More than 10 years later, this story comes back to me like it was yesterday. (And has left an indelible scar on my Daughter.) I laugh. She snarls. I tell her it was an excellent life lesson. I hear mumbling…something which sounds like “idiot.”