Calculated Risk


My toes clung to the edge of the diving board. I took a deep breath and tried to convince myself to dive in…

Yesterday while our family was swimming at the public pool, my husband went off the diving board over and over again. Each time my 5yo son and I laughed at his attempts at cannonballs and running dives; grading them with two thumbs up or down. 

“Why don’t you try a dive, Mommy?” Wolfy asked me. 
The question caught me off guard. For the past five years, I’ve been pretending around my son that I love swimming but the truth is that I don’t feel super comfortable in the water. I can go off the diving board with a clumsy jump but going head first into the water was the last thing I wanted to do. 
Wolfy is struggling to learn to swim this year. He’s making a lot of progress but it’s always two steps (or strokes) forward and one step back. He doesn’t like to jump off the side of the pool even when his teacher promises that she will catch him. 
I want my son to know that while it’s important to listen to the voice inside your head that says something is dangerous, sometimes if it’s a safe situation, it’s okay to push past your fear and test your limits. We call it taking a Calculated Risk. 
But it’s easy to talk about this while cozily tucked into my comfort zone. And it’s another to show him that I can take Calculated Risks too. 
So tonight, I got up on the diving board. But at first I couldn’t make myself dive off. I stood there for a moment feeling the wobbling of the board and the awkwardness of knowing that half of our small town was watching me. For a moment I considered doing my usual clumsy jump. And then I bent down and dove into the water headfirst. Just like I had promised my little boy. 
He was definitely paying attention. 
“Nice job, Mom.” 

Surviving The Why Stage

Surviving the Why Stage(1)

My newly-four-year-old son is deeply entrenched in the “Why Stage”.

For the past six months he has been constantly asking, “Why why why?” and it’s driving me crazy! Seriously. I think I’ve finally reached my breaking point.

I thought I would be a better parent through this.

Ever since my son entered toddler-hood, I knew that something like this might be coming. Continue reading “Surviving The Why Stage”

12 Things I Love About Three Years Old

12 Things I Love About Three Years Old

A year ago, when my son turned three years old, someone told me that this would be the year his knuckles would change.

The backs of his chubby hands would morph from being punctuated by little dimples to being accented by adult knuckles. The idea terrified me. This transformation became a metaphor for the year my son was three. He has grown and changed so much in the past twelve months that it’s no wonder he often displays “three-nager” behavior. Continue reading “12 Things I Love About Three Years Old”

The Little Voice Inside My Son’s Head

Around the time my son, Wolfy turned three years old, he started saying something strange. “I’m not very good at that.” It’s not a very unusual thing to hear from an older kid, but coming from Wolfy, I was surprised.

The Little Voice

Where did he internalize the concept that he wasn’t good at something?

I am careful to never qualify his experiences or abilities for him. And I’ve even started to watch if I say things like that about myself and I don’t. So I don’t think he is getting this phrase from me. Continue reading “The Little Voice Inside My Son’s Head”

A Letter to My Purple-Loving Boy

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My Dear Little Boy,

As you go out into the world, I have one wish for you: I hope that you always love the color purple.  When people ask you which color you like best, I want you to always shout, “Purple is my favorite!” as loudly and proudly as you do now.  Because as you grow bigger and venture beyond our family to preschool and sports teams, some misguided folks might try to convince you that the things you love are actually off-limits to you. Continue reading “A Letter to My Purple-Loving Boy”

Material Girl

It’s the time of year that parents like me dread: making the annual holiday shopping list.

As I sit down to figure it all out, I keep asking myself the usual questions: What does my son need? What is the best use of our money? What will he love the most? I don’t want Wolfy to become a spoiled child and I don’t want to waste our money on toys and silly things that he won’t care about in a few short months. Continue reading “Material Girl”

10 Things I Love About Two Years Old

Happy Birthday

Wolfy turned three years old yesterday!

Don’t get me wrong, I am always happy to see him growing and changing.  It’s exciting to watch him develop more and more into a little person but every new year and every new stage also means leaving some things behind forever.  So during the past year, I made this list of some things I am going to miss about Wolfy at two years old. Continue reading “10 Things I Love About Two Years Old”