As a kid, I was obsessed with the water. Even the word obsessed doesn’t quite do it justice. I mean, OBSESSED. Like, I would pitch a fit if we came anywhere near anything that looked like I could splash around or possibly swim in…penny fountains in the mall, drying up wading pools full of half decaying leaves come September, rushing glacial rivers…anything. For the most part (aside from the rushing glacial rivers), my mom (the primary caregiver during such outings as to the mall and playgrounds with wading pools) indulged in my obsession. Not sure how she mustered up the patience to deal with a kid so obsessed with the water…especially since I was also obsessed with wearing dresses. Well, not to the level of obsession as I was the water, but a close second. So there I would be, in a muddy wading pool, splashing around with my dress billowing up around my shoulders. Sigh.
Truthfully, I blame my dad.
He had me in the water, swim lessons since I was Potamus’s age. He’d take me down to the athletic club before work and we’d swim around together before he’d head off to do Dad-Things and I went back home to spend time with mom. As I got older, I was mostly-fearless in the water (something I can’t say for the rest of my life), and would hurl my 18 month old body off the side of the pool and into my dad’s arms. I’d tiptoe out to the diving board’s edge and launch myself off, trusting that my dad would catch me. He always did.
In camping lakes there were water-wings and saltwater sandals and plenty of pictures of my dad holding my arms and twirling me around or trying to teach me the crawl. While we always had “offical’ swim leassons and eventually joined swim team, these moments with my dad are the ones I remember the best. His healthy attitude and love for the water got passed down to me. Mostly mom had to deal with it, though, as she disliked the water from a near-drowning incident as a child, but shlepped us to-and-fro to parks with wading pools, and spent countless hours sitting by the club pool in the summer as we had swim team and then relaxed with 6 hours of playing mermaids in the pool afterward.
So, when Potamus was born, I just KNEW I wanted to at least give him the option of having a good relationship with water. Last weekend at the river was a great introduction to the wild wild world of water. So this weekend, I packed Potamus up sans Boof, and headed over the pass to spend the weekend with my parents. Potamus LOVED the pool, and it was very fun to see my dad get the opportunity to begin teaching him how to love water, just like he taught me.