You’ve heard of swimming with sharks. Or Dolphins. And, of course, swimming with the fishes…
But swimming with the grandchildren? Ah, that’s the paddle for my canoe!
Today I joined Alexander during his swimming lesson at our local YMCA. Usually his Dad is the designated swimmer, and my husband is the stand-in… but today was my turn.
The feel of the water, the smell of the chlorine, the sounds of the children splashing and giggling and laughing brought me back to decades ago when my own kids were learning to swim at our local YMCA.
At first, Alexander was a bit reluctant to have me. “Why is your bathing suit purple, Grandma?” he asked as we entered the pool deck and I put my towel aside. Before I could answer (actually, I had no idea what I was going to say anyway), he went on, “Why don’t you have your glasses on, Grandma?”
I did answer this question. “Because the splashing water will make my glasses wet.”
“Oh,” he said. Then, “But you can dry them off with your towel.”
Obviously a trick, intended to discover if I really, really knew anything about pools and water and swimming.
Soon the instructor was instructing us to enter the pool… by way of the steps, please. Not the ladders, as the kids could slip and fall. “Are you going to slip and fall, Grandma?” Alex asked me.
“No, Honey. I am going to be very careful and listen to Miss Hillary,” I answered. And it got me to thinking… just what is going on in that wondrous 2 1/2- year-old head regarding his Grandma and this swimming lesson. I knew I had to get control… somehow.
So as I held his little hand and stepped ever-so-carefully into the pool, I whispered to him, “You know, Honey, I taught your Mommy and your Auntie Janie how to swim.”
And he laughed and laughed. And laughed. “Grandma,” he finally said, “Mommy and Auntie Janie don’t swim.”
OK. Now it was time for some serious business. But as I contemplated explaining to him that both Mommy and his Auntie were champion swimmers and record holders with Junior National and National times and had college recruiters knocking on our doors, I realized that he had never seen either one of them swim. Mommy has been busy with having babies ever since he was a baby, and Auntie Janie switched over to distance running long before he was even born.
So instead, I whispered into his precious little ear, “Well, maybe you can teach them to swim.”
He liked that idea. And his smile lit my life as he yelled, “Cannon Ball!” and leaped off the edge into my waiting arms.
Oh, my little darling Alex… you are going to have such fun teaching Mommy and Auntie to swim this summer.