We have an 8 year old daughter that must be a direct descendant from a fish. She loves the swimming pool, sprinklers, lake, even the plastic little pools that Target sells. Any bribe will work as long as it is related to more time in the swimming pool.
She is also a very proud, competitive little girl and always wants to win. If her size or age does not give her the advantage, then she wants to negotiate with you to change the rules, so that she can win.
Last summer we were in the city of Wimberley in the beautiful Texas hill country. We were staying at a hillside bed and breakfast over looking Paradise Valley which had a small but very usable swimming pool. Our daughter, Reagan, and her 12 year old friend, Libby, were swimming, diving, chasing, and playing any and every game that they could think of relating to water.
As I was walking by, I heard Reagan say to Libby…
“Let’s see who can make the biggest splash.”
Now this might not have been the best choice of games, since Libby is 4 years older and out-weighed her by 20 pounds. Being the closest big person, Reagan asked if I would be the judge of the “Big Splash” contest.
They lined up next to each other and jumped into the pool, creating excellent “cannonballs” considering their sizes. Libby did produce that bigger splash. Not by much, but she did. Their heads then popped out of the water with their beautiful little girl grins looking to me for the winning decision.
Now this put me in a awkward spot. Libby seemed quite confident with herself and her self esteem could handle a decision in Reagan’s favor. Looking at Reagan, I could see the strong anticipation that I would vote for her. I could also see the slight quiver of her lower lip and a little tear begin to form, if she were to loose.
A splash is a splash and I said, “Not by much, but Libby’s splash was bigger.”
What then happened truly impressed me. Libby looked over to Reagan and could see what was about to happen. Before the quiver could turn into a tremble and tears begin to flow, she said:
“Let’s see who can make the littlest splash.”
Suddenly both girls erupted into activity, big grins on their faces as they hopped to the side of the pool and got ready for their next competition. Waiting with anticipation, I gave the signal and they jumped into the water. Sure enough, being smaller, Reagan was able to slide into the water with the littler splash.
They popped again to the surface, and I was able in all honesty to award the “Little Splash” contest winner to Reagan. Both were most happy and giggling together went down to the shallow end to create another game.
Only twelve years old. Amazing. Without hesitation Libby was able to create a situation where both girls became winners.
Helping Friends be Winners. What a true Joy in Life.
~ Author is C. F. Sandy Pofahl of 52Best ~