Wednesday, April 11, 2007


I’ve referred to periods of my childhood often in this past year of posting. Reading back over some of the posts it occurs to me that the happier moments expressed were all pre break-up. The other times were post break-up. This apparently is how I’ve categorized my memories. My parents’ marriage dissipated the year I was seven going on eight. My world changed, for better or worse we’ll never really know. Immediately though, it was worse and there weren't many happy times that followed that event.

Throughout the entire sum of my childhood there were pockets of pleasures. While basically a shy and reserved kid, I did manage, in spite of the periodic brutality and dismissals of my father and later my brothers, mom’s debilitating illnesses and eventual “checking out”, general economic, emotional and social struggles, to make some friends, engage in some joyful activities and carve out some good times and pleasant memories, pockets of pleasures.

Which brings me, oddly enough, to swimming. Sober asked yesterday if I ever learned how to swim.

As noted, pre break-up I went to day camps for a few summers. Swimming lessons and other pool activities were in the menu of daily activities during these camps. I was not required to participate in any pool activities. I made use of pool time by crafting more stuff out of popsicle sticks. I was satisfied with this arrangement.

Post break-up I was for at least one summer forced strongly encouraged to take swimming lessons at the local boys (and girls) club. I wouldn’t characterize what I learned as swimming. I’d say I learned not to drown while crabbing my way across the waters.

Since that tenth year of my life, I’ve spent very little time in large pools of water. My high school didn’t have a pool so there was so swimming component to my physical education. I did some wading in the waters of Lake Michigan, very little wading in very shallow waters. I did not enter another pool until my son was three years old. I sat my five, six and seventh month pregnant self in the local kiddie pool to watch him frolic under the sprays.

He graduated to the big pool only after his sister started to explore by her own third birthday. He, like me, was not a fan of large bodies of water. She, the daughter, took to the water like it was a calling. She dove from the high board by the time she was five. The son, not wanting to be outdone by little sis, followed her over. I watched from the deck, sure that my heart would stop any second.

They were able to convince me to join in games, which involved getting IN the water, during family swim times. I was even able to quiet my horror dislike of large bodies of water long and often enough to visit a few water parks during their childhood years.

I am not a fan of pools water and in no stretch of the imagination would I be considered a swimmer. This didn’t stop me from buying a bathing suit last year for the trip to Vegas. I haven’t worn it yet. I might have cause to pull it out this summer, as it appears someone I've come to know and love is a fan of pools, beaches and such. Swimming or any facsimile thereof however, won’t be on the menu, of this I can be sure.


  1. Much to my wasband's horror, I used to take my kids to the pool on base as often as possible. His concern was for our youngest as he repeatedly warned that black people can't swim. He offered as evidence himself one day. As hard as he tried and seemed to have some semblance of the mechanics of swimming, he sinks like a rock. A big rock. I told him that since his son swims like a fish, he must be white. I think that was the last I heard of it.

  2. Yuck, hate pools. Can't say enough negative things about them but you can't be denying your special someone a little pool side action! Or some nude night swimming...(you don't actually need to know how to swim for that- you with me?)

  3. Well baby, maybe I can talk you into going to the beach with me and getting on a surf board!! OK... NO?? Ok...

  4. Funny, Maxine! As black as I am, and as big as I am (285 lbs) I swim better than most fish!

    So much for myths.


    Enjoy your swimsuit... and the company that goes with it... with your bad self!



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