I found myself at (big surprise) Margie’s house on Wednesday evening. Sam was reading the Reese’s Puffs box which had a list of things to do before you turn 18. We went through the list. I hadn’t done a lot of them. Neither had he. He read one about conquering one’s biggest fear. Then he said, “I did that! Last summer, remember, the tree stumps!”
Sam used to be afraid of tree stumps in the water (long story but yes they are there). There are, in fact, several in the water by Sam’s house where he’d swim. I found one and I was standing on it being silly, as usual. I tried to get Sam to come out to it. He was hesitant. But he put on his crocs and swam out all the time asking, “Where is it? Am I going to hit it?” “No Sammy, I’m standing on it.” As he got closer and could no longer touch the bottom I could tell he was scared. I held out my hand and Sam stepped onto the stump. He was so proud of himself: he kept going off and coming back and made us mark it with a big rock. When his mother got home he made her come out on the deck at least a dozen times to see him standing on the stump.
I really like that kid. I like that he remembered that and that it actually had meaning to him.
I wish I could conquer fears like that. I wish I could swim out into the lake, not being able to necessarily see what I’m afraid of, and find myself standing on it, conquering it.