I love it when events coincide with specific dates so that they are easy to remember.

Example: earlier this year we purchased a new lawn mower. S. wondered how long we had our old one1 and I said, “I can tell you exactly when we got it.”

“OK, what game was that day?” She knows me well.

“It wasn’t just a game, although that was the same day that KU lost to Georgia Tech in the regional finals.” March 28, 2004.

I remembered the exact day because that was also the first time I felt M. kicking inside S.’s stomach. It was just an added convenience that a notable game fell on that day too.

Fast forward to July 4, 2012 and we come to another day I’ll always remember. That was the first day both C. and M. jumped off a diving board.

We went to the pool our neighbors belong to in an attempt to escape this ridiculous heat. After they had splashed around in the shallow end for awhile, I asked M. if she was interested in going off the diving board. She looked across the pool, saw the line of kids, some smaller than her, thought about it for a minute, then declined. I dropped it. At the next adult swim I jumped off the board once to show the girls it was no big deal. When adult time ended, C. was ready to go.

I swam out to the deep end and waited for her. When it was her turn I told her to jump away from the board, then to swim toward me when she surfaced. No problem. She leaped in, popped up, swam straight to me then to the ladder so she could pull herself out and try again. Back to the end of the line. Typical C., no fear or hesitation. Just do it.

M. waited and watched for awhile but finally decided to give it a shot too. When it was her turn, I again swam to the landing area. I gave her the same instructions I gave C.. “I know!” she answered tersely. She looked at the water, looked at me, looked at the water. “How deep it is, daddy?”

“It’s deep but you’ll do fine.”

She gazed at the water some more. She whined a little.

“Come one, M.. There are other people waiting.”

“I’m not sure I want to do this.”

“That’s fine, but either jump in or get off so other people can go.”

She took a breath, jumped, and survived. She surfaced with a big grin and a yell of triumph.

And so the B. girls spent the next 15 minutes or so ignoring their friends and leaping off the diving board while I tread water to make sure they had no issues swimming where they couldn’t touch. It was great and they were both very proud of themselves. By the end of our time at the pool, C. was bouncing on the board and jumping pretty far away from it, and M. was doing “moves” when she jumped off, throwing her arms or legs out and yelling at her friends who were watching.

So it was a pretty good, and memorable, Independence Day for us.

  1. We passed the old mower on to a family member whose previous mower died.