Here she is. My eldest. Refusing to look at me as I encourage her to put the book down and get back in the ocean. The ocean with yes, fish. The fish she fishes for. The fish she eats. The fish she sees at the aquarium. The fish she has become suddenly fearful from touching her.
I get it. It’s unusual. It’s unique. But it’s not a reason to sit on the sidelines.
So, I push.
No treats the rest of the day unless you get back in.
You don’t have to go for long, but you have to get back in.
Tears. Exasperation. Begging.
In she goes.
You can’t see me having fun, she says.
Oh, but I can. For the next five hours straight. FIVE HOURS in the ocean.
No one prepares you for that in parenting. When to push, when to hold.
My husband didn’t want to make a fuss, but I wanted to make a point.
Our fears are not the end.
Yes, we must listen, but we also must know when to overcome.
And boy, did she overcome.
In spite of my insecurity – was I being too hard?- I realized, yes, I listened to my instinct and momma knows best.
This was a time to Push.