Swimming alone

Today’s Motherlode post is a guest post by Lydia Denworth about how the line between overprotection and appropriate risk shifts over time. Lydia’s story is a little more charged than some, because her son has moderate to severe hearing loss that a head injury could tip into full-blown deafness.

I think her essay about still choosing not to wrap her child in cotton wool and a 24/7 helmet is brave and honest. This is something I think about all the time with Grace and Whit, and I’m always looking for small ways to allow them to feel masterful and independent. Today it was letting Grace swim to the raft in the ocean by herself. She’s done it with me and with Matt more than once, but today she went alone. She was eager to do it. The lifeguard and I were both watching. She swam there with ease, climbed onto the raft, and her incandescent smile was visible all the way from the beach.