Jack goes to swimming lessons once a week.
I've expressed before how much Jack dislikes water in his face. At first he hated the swimming lessons. Each week they followed the same routine, they'd start off by having a splash fight. Jack doesn't like it much but he participates whilst keeping his head turned and eyes clamped shut. They then climb in the water and splash again with their feet. Jack likes this better but he's still not a fan. After that they teach him different strokes and help him practice swimming from side to side.
They all start with four foam floaters and as they progress they lose floaters. One time one of the instructors reduced his floaters mid swim. Jack still insists that he nearly drowned.
Everything goes well until the last five minutes when all the kids have to jump in. Not all of the kids like this and Jack hates it, he usually refuses. The instructors are gentle and patient, but they always manage to talk him down. But still he'll usually be crying and demanding to be taken home by the end, vowing never to swim again.
Today the swimming group was unusually scarce, the class of ten turned out a meager four. With three instructors it made for a productive lesson. At the end I watched as Jack plunged his face into the water without hesitation. I made sure to give him a cheer when he looked up.
One minute later I watched with pride as he jumped into the pool without his floaters and came out... well, not crying.
As we returned to the car Jack regaled his triumph. I just jumped in. I was really brave and jumped in. And I put my face in the water for five minutes. I found the secret.
And what's the secret.
It's to be brave. All this time and you just have to be brave and jump in.
There are only 2 things left now that still scare him, vampires and zombies. And of course a vampire-zombie, with the body of a zombie and the head of a vampire... and ghost arms.