Summer has always been synonymous with swimming to me. Even after age 18, when I gained access to all my nerve endings and stopped needing to swim in less-than-90-degree weather, the allure of the water and a Speedo has lingered. Even though, here in the thralls of old-farmhouse-ownership, with fix-it projects and endless things to do, memories of the pool at the camp where I grew up and the many laughing hours of my childhood summers spent there make me want the same for my children.
My daughter, it seems, has the innate love of water that I do. This summer she has especially taken to the water, whether it’s been in a large you-can-actually-swim pool or one of the small wading pools we’ve come into contact with. I’ll admit, seeing her kicking her legs furiously and hearing her squeals has warmed my heart. Swimming is the only sport I ever had any interest in participating in, and I couldn’t help but want to share that with my children too (not that we’ll get beyond the taking-lessons point).
All this wanting to share, and we don’t have a pool here in our patch of the boonies, and, to be truthful, I’ve not ever really had the desire for one, at least not the above-ground kind that you can’t really swim in unless you’re under five feet tall (and I know what an unreasonable kind of price tag and workload the with-a-deep-end kind comes with). I have no qualms, though, trucking over to my parents’ or my sister-in-law’s or some other kind person’s house (and, maybe when I’m a tad braver and have a friend with me, a public pool in the area – we have some doozies that are fabulous, or so the story goes) and taking advantage of full body immersion and snapping away pictures of my little fish-to-be. I haven’t hesitated to fill her wading pool with the ice cold rusty well water and let it fill with bugs in the days between when I fill it and when I drain it. She gets so much joy from the splashing and jumping and kicking and, well, swimming. In her unfettered enthusiasm, a part of me is revitalized and reminded of just how much fun water is…and just how much I love it.
In the capable hands of my niece and my sister, my daughter sees the four-foot water universe as an Adventure while I see memories being made. In the small splashes of the baby pools, my daughter delights in the motion of her body and the physics of the water while I delight in the innocent pleasure of it all and the shared love we have. In the waning summer days, my daughter has but moments left to swim, and I have only precious time to savor it.