This weekend was unseasonably hot for our area. On Saturday, we took Curly to a place where there was “jumping water”…one of those open areas where kids can run around and splash in water that is propelled upwards from grates in the ground. When we arrived, there was one little girl hopping around soaking wet. Curly had no interest getting in, plopped himself into a nearby chair, and watched her playing. After 10 minutes, Nutella and I took our shoes off and joined the little girl…blocking the grates with our feet and laughing as the water shot out everywhere. And after watching us for 2 minutes, Curly was on the ground taking off his shoes and then running towards us. He wanted to hold our hands and was extremely cautious about the water….but finally, after we went back to sit at our table, he stayed and completely gave in to the fun of it- using his hands and feet to block or catch the water, running in circles with the little girl and then the many other kids that joined in, and basically getting soaked from head to toe. Glad we brought an extra pair of clothes.
The next day, Nutella’s parents visited us and we went to our local pool. I asked Curly if he wanted to learn how to swim and he said yes. The second I tried it, holding his body up and asking him to kick his legs, he freaked out and demanded I put him back in the kid area where he could stand. I had him “swim” back over there while I held him and we let him do his own thing for a while. After a bit, we tried again…showing him how to hold the side of the pool and kick his legs…holding him up again and getting him to kick and use his arms as we glided him across the water…having him piggyback us and go around the pool. He tried it with Nutella, myself, and grandpa and by the end, he appeared to have gone a complete 180 degrees from his first try.
There’s nothing spectacularly interesting about either scenario. They are just illustrations of how we as parents deal with a slow-to-warm-up child, learning how to deal with his personality in a way that both respects him but pushes him, knowing what benefits lie at the other end. But this is also a picture of an LGBT family. If you didn’t know we were before reading this, you’d have had no idea…and so I dedicate this post to today’s LGBT Family blogging day. Our families are just the same, and just as different, as everyone else’s.