Just Keep Swimming

I have four kids. On special occasions like Birthdays and Snow Days and well, let’s be real, Tuesdays, they get to watch a movie. Or seven.

I kid. Mostly. I’m probably admitting to a major parental sin right here but I love it when my kids are engrossed in a fun movie. And not just because it gives me two minutes to go to the bathroom by myself-such luxury!

I love it because there’s always a moral to the story. One that I’ve probably been harping about already but apparently is much more palatable when animated and sung by characters with funny voices.

A moral to the story is much more than a bow on top of a neatly wrapped movie package where good triumphs over evil in under 90 minutes. It’s the very thread that’s been woven into stories throughout time. Parable, fairytale, fable, allegory, legend-call it what you will. It seems we’ve enjoyed a good moral to the story for quite some time now.

In one of my kids’ favorite Disney movies, the supporting character is a plucky discombobulated little fishlet with short-term memory issues called Dory. Of all the characters in Finding Nemo, she’s one of my faves.

No matter what happens or what she forgets, she is the encourager to poor little Nemo. She believes in him and tells him he can find his way home. Even after shark attacks and traveling to distant lands and getting lost, Dory speaks words of wisdom in a funny made-up song with only three words. Be careful, this is really catchy-

Just keep swimming. Words to live by for kids and a great reminder for me. For my kids it imparts a “never give up” attitude. To me it reminds me that no matter where I am, what craziness has ensued because there are lots of kids at my house and that includes the three year old (it’s always the three year old! More on this later.), I need to just keep swimming.

Keep pushing forward. Don’t give up the fight. Keep going. Just keep swimming. Sometimes I need this moral to the story to remind myself that 1) it’s ok if life is crazy, 2) I can do this, and 3) something good always comes from this kind of persistence.

We are big believers in the philosophy that you can’t do the right things over and over and something good not come from it. This year we are reminding ourselves (a lot) to give ourselves a break and that progress by degrees is just fine.

So maybe we’re not winning any Parent of the Year Awards. But you will probably catch my kids singing Dory’s little song. I would encourage you to learn it too.

Just keep swimming.

Copyright Meredith Shafer 2015

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