Meeshelle started following my blog at the end of Spring last year. She is so great about reading, commenting, and generally keeping up with my musings. Meeshelle has a wonderfully positive energy that comes through clearly in her comments and posts. I am very grateful she took me up on my request to share a click. After reading her here, you can check out her blog here.
Many years ago my little sister and I were enjoying a day at the lake. I wanted to go swimming and could tell she was interested in joining me. She would make short advances but then stop herself for some reason. I couldn’t figure out why this cute little nine-year-old wouldn’t want to run around and enjoy the warm weather/cool waters.
Was it a fear of sharks?
Did she not want to get wet?
Nope, that was no problem.
Did she think she wasn’t a strong enough swimmer?
No, she could swim.
For a minute I was at a loss as to what to do. I tried many different ways to encourage her to JUMP IN with me, but she would just look and shake her head ‘no.’
I put my hands on my hips and asked her, “Why not?” But she just backed away from the water, staring up at me, searching. Finally she piped up that she didn’t want to take off her shirt and shorts.
Even at such a young age she had already began to develop body issues.
It was then that I took a moment to pause and take stock of myself.
There I stood, wearing my own bathing suit cover-up; a walking contradiction, do as I say, not as I do.
In that moment I decided it was time to lead by example. I shed the outer layers and stood there trying to be fearless – she was watching me very carefully.
It was the first time in years my upper thighs had seen the sun and it felt good. But what was even more satisfying was seeing my little sister’s face light up as she followed my lead.
We stood there taking it all in for a moment, and then she giggled, then I giggled and soon we were laughing like no one else on the beach existed.
Taking each others’ hand we ran and dove into the water together.
That day she taught me more than I could have hoped to teach her.
*Meeshelle’s headshot is by Pink Monkey Studios.