The Swimming Lesson that Almost Wasn't

Originally posted on my website in August 2006

The dog days of summer are most definitely upon us. We got our electric bill the other day and it was nearly $300! Yikes! To cool off, we took the girls for two weeks worth of swimming lessons at the YMCA. They had a ball, and I think we had just as much fun watching them. The parents were only allowed to watch, not participate, so I think the girls probably did better with us on the sidelines instead of in the pool with them.

Raising my girls brings back so many memories of my childhood. I have to admit, I think I like watching Sesame Street DVDs even more than they do! Some of the clips included in the current DVDs are from my day, and I still remember all the words and enjoy singing along. My husband was 11 when Sesame Street first aired, so he was already way too cool to watch, but he will get up and dance with Ernie and Bert now if he thinks the girls are the only ones watching. We get to see a lot of Blues Clues and Bob the Builder these days as well. I always thought I'd try to limit TV time for the girls, and I do my best, but when I'm trying to get ready for work in the morning and they are getting up at 6am, there's really no other option!

Taking the girls to swimming lessons reminded me of one of my dad's favorite stories to tell about me. When I was very young and growing up in Miami, I spent a lot of time with my dad. He likes to tell everyone that we were kids together, but that he was just taller. :-) My mom was a nurse, working days, and my dad went to school during the day and worked nights. When I was three, Dad took me to swimming lessons at the local public pool. I apparently wanted to have nothing to do with the pool, which amazes me now because I absolutely love the water. The way Dad tells it, when we were supposed to get started, I ran into the ladies locker room, thinking I'd be safe there since he was a man and unable to enter. So he asked one of the female teachers to go in and get me. When she came out, without me, she was very angry with him! She said he should not have brought his child to swimming lessons in her condition! Clueless as to what she was referring to, Dad asked her to explain. She told him I said that I really shouldn't go in the water because I had a heart condition, and if I tried to swim, my heart might stop and I'd drown! Oh, the horrors! :-) And what imagination for a three-year-old! (I guess I started early...) Dad assured the teacher that I did not have a heart condition and asked to enter the locker room to gather me. Moments later, he threw me in the pool, and I learned to swim very quickly.

I paid him back when I was about six. He had just finished a motorcycle race and we were riding through the pits with me sitting on the gas tank of his bike. I grabbed the throttle, pulled back, and we did a wheelie all the way through the pits! When I was six, Dad was still only 26, so luckily for both of us, he still had very quick reflexes! I'm sure the girls will pay me back in spades.

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