My hatred of water has been well documented. Here, here, here , here, and here, to be exact. I'm not a fan. May have something to do with some sort of early trauma in my life, wherein I almost drowned with a lifeguard watching me and my sister pulled me to safety, or maybe I'm bitter about all the times we went swimming in Lake Erie and came out with sediment and God knows what else all up in my crack (like, literally. Ohio is the state where a river caught on fire; of course our lake is full of rusted pieces of metal and communicable diseases.). Or perhaps it has to do with 9th grade when a guy picked me up and threw me into the pool during free swim and I was able to get to the edge of the pool in the deep end, thereby nullifying my excuse of "I can't swim" to the gym teacher and my free pass to have grossly modified expectations for swim class. Fucker.
Anywho, I'm not a fan of water as I said before. I generally don't go in past my waist, and it usually involves much wailing and gnashing of the teeth for me to get into the water with the children, along with some pretty serious negotiations that simultaneously makes me teary eyed with pride and frustrated as hell at their tenacity. Bathing suits aren't exactly my friend, too. I have body image issues anyways, and plus I am a 36 year old woman who's been pregnant more times than most and who nursed three children. Shit only stays where it is supposed to because of a lot of Spanx and a solid underwire bra, plus a lot of strategic placement of body parts.
(And yes, I know I am supposed to be a feminist and all that shit, and that worrying about how my body looks in a bathing suit is a function of societal pressures to look perfect, and that my children don't care how I look. I know all of this. But I still feel it and by God, I'm honest if nothing more than super crazy.)
So what the fuck made me think that it would be a good idea to get the kids a fucking swimming pool for Christmas last year? Not like the little 24 inch pools that we used to splash in with our dad when we were little. No, a fucking 14 ft wide, 42 inches high pool with a real filter and ladder and everything. And what made me think that my children would be ok with me NOT getting into it with them? Seriously, if I didn't know that eggs are the devil food and I never eat them, I would question if I got into a whole gallon of egg nog the day I decided to get this thing.
(Though not gonna lie, we got one hell of a deal on it.)
I have been swimming more this summer than I have the last two, possibly three, combined. Not even hyperbole there. And the pool has only been up since Saturday. My children know that I am a sucker for them, and they tend to exploit this to get me to do things that I wouldn't normally. Like willingly put a bathing suit on and get into water. Luckily for me, their willingness to exploit me has not extended to things like buying them meth or hacking the school's computers to change their grades.
I suppose that it is part of being a parent though...this willingness to do shit for your kids that takes you out of your comfort zone. Whether it is learning to use a booger sucker to becoming a dance mom to educating your children about the importance of locking doors to avoid murder, my kids are constantly making me grow as a person and to expand my thinking in new ways. Even if it means getting over my hatred of water. And my fear of stabby murderers coming into our house while waiting up for the teenager to get home from "working a late shift".
Mama may have been born in the morning, but it wasn't yesterday. I may be willing to allow my children to talk me into believing that water is fun, but I sure as hell ain't gonna get talked into believing that my kid always headed straight home from work after her shift. Remember, this is the lady who had her gym teacher believing for almost an entire semester that she could not swim.