Wednesday, June 27, 2012

I'll Take the High Dive


Summer days at the public pool. For just one dollar, you too can jump off the high-dive, marvel at lifeguard tanning abilities, check out the latest mommy tattoos, and repeatedly give your kids a thumbs-up for doing water acrobatics - not to mention stare down the day camp bullies.

That was me yesterday, along with two of my sisters. We were all, "Oh no you dit-ten." Fierce like momma bears. Or momma piranhas, working as a team. Four boys against one? Wasn't going to happen on our watch.

We first noticed this "well-fed" boy with red hair and freckles attempting the high-dive. More like walking the plank to his doom. But he chickened-out last minute. Doesn't matter. Either way down, the bullies were waiting.

The boy quickly jumped in from the side. The bullies jumped in after him. He got out of the pool. The bullies followed. Splashing and taunting the boy, it appeared he didn't swim well - if at all. Not sure what they were saying, though - just knew it was mean.

At one point, the boy got out of the pool where my sisters and I were sitting with our kids. I thought, "This is my chance! I must give him a 'nugget.' What should I say?" So I leaned in and said, "Hey, I saw you on the high-dive. If you don't give up, you'll become the best high-dive jumper ever ever-er..." (Or something truly life-changing and profound like that.)

And in my mind, my nugget would go far - very far - all the way to the White House. I imagine his Inaugural Address would go a little like this:

"Nation, my trials have been great indeed. However, the turning point happened at the tender age of 11, for there was a woman at a public pool who believed in me. And today, I stand before you as a testament to her goodwill." And so on...

But enough of that, we had bullies to contend with. So I pointed two fingers at my eyes and then at them, as in, "I'm watching you." Then one of my sisters walked over - hand on hip - lowered her sunglasses and glared at them with a tough, now-I-mean-it, teachery look. You know what that is. Then the third sister waded over and told the bullies that she hopes her son grows up like him (pointing at the redhead boy) - and not like all of you. (The most intimidating of us three.)

Three sisters - what a team. We were a cord of three strands not easily broken (Ecclesiastes 4:13). And this kid wasn't even ours. Something just kicked in. An instinct to protect - perhaps hardwired within us by a God who is a shield around us and lifter of our heads (Psalm 3:3).

So the bully boys did end up getting the one-two from their camp counselors. Glad it wasn't overlooked, and I'm sure each boy involved has a back-story we're unaware of. But on this day, it appears my sisters and I took the high-dive, the bullies took the low-dive, and the redhead took the no-dive. (Which is okay - nerds rule the world anyway.)

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