While we were in Pangkor Island, I decided to take Jesse for a splash in the hotel's wading pool. Since it had been awhile since he's stepped into a pool, I figured it would be a nice experience for him. And it was. That is, until he fell face-first into the water.
The water was up to his belly-button and the boy was feeling fine. In fact, he was so happy in this refreshing element that he decided to try and jump about in it. Somewhere between bouncing around and splashing water, he lost his balance and fell in.
Fortunately for him, I never left his side (Propoganda: Boy, if you're reading this some time in the future; no, Daddy never left your side!) and so I reached in quickly to pull him out. He was a mess, of course. Coughing out water, wailing bloody murder and crying his eyeballs out.
At that point, I was spiraling into a guilt-trip of overprotectiveness, fearing that I had scarred my boy for life. And Jesse wasn't helping. He was clinging on to me like that face-hugging creature from Alien, clutching for dear life.
Then we both calmed down, father and son regaining our collective composure.
"You wanna go back into the water?" I asked the sobbing boy, despite my own reservations. Then, as he coughed up the remaining water in his lungs, he looked up at me with those huge puppy dog eyes, now red from the crying and the chlorine-treated pool water and answered confidently, "Yes."
The boy went back into the water and started jumping again, like a monkey in hot soup as if nothing had happened.
And just like that, our ordeal was over. He had conquered his fear, and I mine.