I’m watching my friend’s four-year-old swim like nobody’s business. That girl can do a double or backwards flip while under water, use a snorkel and flippers, and is learning new tricks to do in the pool daily. I’m middle-aged and have finally perfected my back float. I guess if I had started swimming lessons at 7 months old like she did, I might have at least figured out how to do more than a graceful side stroke with a fake Esther Williams twist at the end…but no promises.
I have to say that I’m jealous. I’ve written before about being afraid of what’s in the water, but that’s a pretty common concern, I think. My fear is of the water itself. It’s always been just a little scary to me…and a LOT scary if I’m potentially going to be thrown (or might fall) into it. Once Hubby #1 took me on a canoe ride and I almost had a fit to get out of that rocky little boat before I had a panic attack. Yep…I’m a water wimp….oh, and a frog wimp…and a jellyfish wimp….and….geez, we don’t have all day, so I’ll stop there.
Luckily, I figure that there are worse things to be afraid of. When my sister was little she refused to eat anything with black specks in it. She didn’t dislike pepper…but she was afraid of any ‘black things’ in her food. We were once taken to a shrimp boil at the Knights of Columbus hall where my grandfather did most of his drinking, and we were thrilled to see newspaper-covered tables piled high with (what seemed to us to be) millions of beautiful shrimp! Well, both of us loved boiled shrimp and were delighted at the aspect of eating our fill…at least until Lynnie yelled out, in a very disturbed voice,…
Her voice rang out across the tables, and I think some of the diners were a bit put off, but my sissy had only discovered that there were some whole peppercorns randomly dispersed throughout the otherwise lovely seafood feast. She just ate crackers that night, and she whined…a lot.
She’s over that one now, but Lynnie’s childhood fear of being in a car going across a river appears to be a lifetime sentence. When we took trips as kids to anyplace that required going across a bridge longer than about 20 feet, or higher than a single story building, my sister would climb into the backseat and curl up into a ball on the floor with her eyes closed. Now I think she just closes her eyes (unless she’s driving). If she ends up having to drive, I can’t vouch for whether or not she actually keeps her eyes open, but if you get the chance to ride with her, I’d suggest that you offer to drive if there are any interesting bridges to see. Hmmm…interesting that I moved to a city FILLED with bridges…I never thought about that before!
When Lynnie comes to visit me, we can just make a deal: I can do all of the driving through my beloved ‘Bridge City’ (aka Portland), and we’ll avoid shrimp (known here as ‘prawns’); she, on the other hand, won’t chase me with a frog (we don’t really have them here anyway), and we won’t do any canoeing (which we’ve never done before together). Seems like a win-win to me!