Sink or Swim…or Float

My BSFs are thick in the summer swim mode.

We don’t have a pool, unless you count the itty-bitty Dora play pool in the backyard.  Still, the kids are around friends’ pools enough that they need to know how to safely find their way out of a pool, just in case, God forbid, they fall in unexpectedly. So, they are in swim lessons this summer, learning the basic survival skills.

Growing up, we didn’t have a pool in our yard either.  We spent hours in our neighbor’s pool and at the city pool each summer.  Somehow, I learned to swim without a swim class. I’m sure I learned from my siblings or my neighbors or from the sheer need to stay alive amid a lot of good swimmers.

My favorite thing to do was float. I remember how excited I was when I finally figured out how to do it. I floated and floated in the pool just for the fun of it. As a teenager, I always thought it was a good way to stay cool and get an even tan.  I can’t believe how many years I went into the sunshine and into a pool without a drop of sunscreen…but that’s another story.

Today, my dad was asking about how the girls are doing in class…whether they can float or swim with ease.  I told him that they are both swimming and floating, despite the deafening cries for “Mom” or “Dad” or “Ziggy”, the dog.  Seriously.  Yesterday I had made a joke out of my older BSF asking for her Dad when Dad wasn’t even at her swim lesson.  I continued, saying, “Why don’t you ask for Ziggy tomorrow.  Maybe he will come running to the pool and pull you out.”  So, today, she cried for Ziggy.  Yes.  That’s my girl.

My dad reminded me that my mother loved the water.  She spent her summers at their family lake house.  The whole summer.  What a beautiful luxury that must have been. She was an avid reader all of her life.  She used to tell me that she’d bring a wheelbarrow full of books, checked out from her local library, to the lake each summer.  Her local librarian, Eva T. Canon, lent her the books for the entire time she was gone.  And, she read.  She read and she swam.  Not at the same time, I’m sure, but I gotta know she definitely read by the water.

Isn’t she beautiful here?

Her parents enjoyed the lake, too.

I don’t think they fished especially much.  They played plenty of games – yard games outside and card games anywhere.

The funniest thing about it all was that my grandfather didn’t swim.  I think just about everyone else in the family did.  However, my grandfather couldn’t.

My dad had shared that my grandfather probably would’ve wanted to swim, but he could never get deep enough into the water to do so.  The waters near their lake house were shallow enough to walk out for yards and yards. So, he didn’t really need to swim.  My grandfather could float, though.  And he enjoyed floating in that lake.  Which makes me think of my BSFs.  They prefer to float.  Float. Float. Float.

I’m thrilled that my BSFs are swimming and floating.  It hasn’t taken them very long to figure it all out, and these skills will last them a lifetime.  Maybe, one day, we can take them to their grandmother’s childhood summer vacation place by the lake.  Now, that would be something.

 

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