I saw courage the other day, raw and simple.
My daughter was at a community pool for the first time. It had a high, twisting slide that dropped into 10 feet of water.
Clearly, she was drawn to it. She climbed the ladder three times, sat at the top, but could not let herself go.
I didn’t push her, saying only, “It won’t be bad.” Still, she was unable to do it.
Her reluctance was eating at her, and I could see the consternation in her face. What a dilemma for a little one: She felt she should take on the slide, but was just too fearful.
Her restlessness was palpable, and I was beginning to feel bad about the pressure she was putting on herself.
By the fourth time she climbed the ladder, other kids were aware of her situation. When she reached the top, the children chanted, “Go, go, go!”
My daughter turned to me and asked, “Will I be O.K.?”
“Yes, honey, yes,” I said. And with that, she slid.
She hit the water, where my girlfriend helped fish her out. After that, she slid so many times we had to pull her off.
“You know what bravery is?” I asked my daughter. “It’s doing something when you’re afraid. I’m so proud of you.”
The Little Girl beamed.
A good day. A real good day.