Just Keep Swimming

JoAnna Bennett

JoAnna Bennett, O’Brien Communications Group

July 28, 2022

For as long as I can remember, I wanted to be a mother. I was the little girl who collected and carried around baby dolls. I would care for them and dote on them. I was a tomboy in every other way. I had short hair. I played in the dirt. And I had a strong dislike for princesses. But when it came to dolls, I felt the undeniable urge to care for and love them. As I got older and was able to begin working, I chose to work at a day care center. I loved being around the kids. I loved hearing their interpretations of the world. And I loved giving them a safe place for them to explore that world.


While all the above remain true in my current reality, there are also several aspects of parenthood I didn’t anticipate. For instance, when you watch your children accomplish something they were initially scared to do, you can see them dig deep to find their bravery. And you can watch the transformation happen. They go from scared, to brave, to proud. As the parent, you can’t help but feel all those feelings alongside them.

This week, my daughter learned how to swim. She’s been cautiously attempting to find the bravery to go floatie-free, but it wasn’t until this week that she moved along in her transformation. She felt scared, of course, but then she moved onto brave. That was quickly followed by proud! She did it. And the entire experience reminded me of a quote from the movie Dory, “Just keep swimming.”

Don’t Stop

Now that she learned she can do it, I know she won’t stop being brave. I know this is just the beginning for her. And I can’t wait to watch how much she progresses over the next month.

Standing beside her and watching her take such a huge leap in her self-faith and confidence was just as transformative for me. She reminded me of times I’ve been brave in the past. And she reminded me of times I was confident and self-reliant.

Whether it’s swimming or some other life challenge, I’ll remember this moment in time. And I’ll just keep swimming.