Really! It’s how you say it.

Judy and I took our grandchildren on a weekend trip.  One evening were were swimming in the hotel pool and my grandson said “Pops, swim over here.”  I said, “I can’t Caleb.”  The reason I said that is I can’t swim.

Caleb looked at me and said “No, really Pops, swim over here.”  My replay was the was the same.  “I can’t Caleb.”  Caleb was more emphatic now.  the tone of his voice was urging me to follow his directon.  “Really Pops, I want you to swim over here!.”  I said it again.  “Caleb, I can’t swim to you.”  He frowned at me and I dicided it was time to clarify.  I said, “Caleb, I can’t swim.”  He had an astonished look on his face.  “Really!”  I said “Really, I can’t swimn.”

I remember that incident as thought it was yesterday, especially his final “Really!”  It hurt, it was troubling, to tell him I could not do something that he thinks everyone should be able to do.  But I can’t.

I have a swimming pool in my back yard.  It’s been there for ten years.  Caleb has been visiting the pool his entire life.  He is not ten.  He has been taught, encouraged, inspired to swim, many times by me, his Pops.  So he assumed I could swim because I have been encouraging him to learn to do the things it takes to swim.  I encouraged him to go past the fear, past the doubt, do something you don’t want to do, put your head under water, believe in yourself, trust.

I guess that’s why it hurt, the “Really”  Because Caleb respects his Pops when I encourage him to go beyo0nd what he thinks he can do.  He trusts me.  But perhaps a little less when he discovered the guy who was telling him to keep reaching wasn’t reaching very far.  “Really!”  yeah, really.