My blog is late today (shocker, I know) but for once, it's for a very good reason. This morning I went with my 11 year old daughter to do the "Penguin Plunge" for Special Olympics.
Each year, on what has to be one of the coldest days in Connecticut, a group of INSANE people jump into a nearly frozen lake to raise money for Special Olympics. Now, my family has been involved in Special Olympics for 20 years, in my "other life" I'm a special education teacher (although, my students are "special" in other ways but that's a different story) and we have done a lot of work with our local Special Education organization.
I have never and will never jump into freezing water for them.
My youngest daughter has been begging me to do this for years. Her friends have done it and she couldn't understand why I wouldn't let her do it too. Never mind the fact that she just finished TWO AND HALF YEARS of chemotherapy in 2010, and that she was 9 year old when she first began the begging. Seriously, am I the meanest mom ever or what?
I finally relented, and she, along with 10 or so other elementary school children (and two insane adults) ran into a lake this morning. It was 17 degrees out. That's Fahrenheit folks, not Celsius. As we pulled into the park, there were people ICE FISHING on the lake where she was going to swim.
And swim she did. She and her friends not only went into the freezing water, they actually went all the way under. It was terrifying and amazing and very inspiring for me. She just had a lot of fun.
On the way home, she asked if she could do it again next year, even as she had her feet pressed against the heating vents and was wrapped in as many layers as I could put her in. As we drove along, she said to me, "If I can do that, I can do anything!"
I have not one single doubt it's true.