Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Like A Fish Out Of Water

Almost overnight, Stretch has learned to tie her shoes, ride her bike, jump rope, and swim.  Not just doggy paddle, either, but full-on under-the-surface darting through the water like a sea lion.  I’m pretty sure that page two of the Good Mommy Handbook states you should never compare your daughters to sea lions, but I wasn’t sure how else to describe her new skill.

The swimming, and all those other accomplishments, is a sign of something bigger.  A sign that my baby is growing up.  And, no, I don’t have two babies just because the girls are twins.  Reckless was born two minutes before Stretch and quickly took on the role of big sister.  Not only did Reckless roll over, sit up, and walk first, but she’s been riding her bike without training wheels and swimming for two years now.  She’s always been fairly self-sufficient.  I’m pretty sure I caught her ordering her own cell phone on line last week.

But Stretch….well, she’s always needed me.  It’s been exhausting at times, but now she’s figuring things out.  And, she’s starting kindergarten on Thursday!  Technically, they both are.  But my only concern about Reckless and school is that she’ll break out and hitch a ride to Vegas.  With Stretch, I worry that she’ll need something and we won’t be there to help her.  Or that worried me until recently.  In lieu of her swimming performance at the pool today, I’m starting to suspect she’ll be just fine.  I’m also starting to suspect I’m not her real mother.

Because I’m not a good swimmer.  I can swim, but I’m self-taught, so it’s sloppy.  And, I’m not the only member of my family that is aquatically challenged.  My brother just took lessons a few years ago and prior to that, he couldn’t so much as float.  He also struggled with snapping his fingers until he hit 30, but other than that, he has excelled at everything in his life.

My mom still can’t swim, which explains her fear of boats.  Her absence of fear about flying is intriguing in light of that.  I’m fairly certain my maternal grandparents couldn’t swim, but I doubt it came up since they likely never even saw a concrete pond.

I enjoy swimming though.  Sometimes I go up to the neighborhood pool early in the mornings and swim laps to give my joints a break from all the running I do.  It’s a good workout if you’re doing it right; it’s a GREAT workout if you’re doing it just a little bit wrong.  My swimming is always accompanied by a subconscious fear of drowning, which further elevates my heart rate.

That fear was instilled when I was learning to swim.  And, now that I think about it, self-taught is probably the wrong descriptor.  I figured out how to swim because my teenage babysitter’s younger brother repeatedly tried to drown me in the lake every time she turned her back.  Maybe self-preservation is more accurate.  And, maybe mankind would learn to fly if we were repeatedly pushed out of airplanes without parachutes?  The repeatedly part of that equation is tricky.  But maybe someone should check with my mom.  I suspect she already knows how to fly, or else she’d show some kind of reluctance about boarding planes.

But this blog isn’t about my mom being a superhero.  It’s about Stretch finally finding her own wings and learning to fly.  I assume she’ll still be coming back to the nest after school each day, so I won’t cry too hard on Thursday.  But I hope she’ll continue to let me tie her shoes from time to time.  And I hope that one day she’ll teach me how to swim like her.Photobucket

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