Two weeks ago I admitted to my daughter, son-in-law, grandson and granddaughter something I’ve kept hidden since sixth grade.
I’m afraid to dive.
Water is my ally. Wherever I go, I hook up with a pool, just to experience the rush of a cold dip and the smell of chlorine in the morning. I insist on living within ten minutes of enough water to get into for a few laps.
There is a dark side – water loses its charm when I stand on a diving board.
Clear and baby blue, so inviting. Water like . . . glass. Would you dive into glass? How about depth? Not the depth of the pool – the depth of the dive. I jump off the board, not into the water, but back onto the concrete deck..
“Just bend over. Touch your nose to your knees.”
“Which knee? I have two. Only one nose.”
“You’re stalling. I”ll help you.” My six-year-old granddaughter, who is part fish, gently touches the small of my back. “Bend from here. You can do it.”
What example am I setting? Will she become less of the daredevil if I decline the challenge?
I bend over. My nose touches my left knee. I see the top of a pig’s head. I guess I have to pay more attention to how I shave my legs. Wait. Not a pig. Hairs stick up like the bristles that grace a baby elephant’s head.
“What are you doing, Gammy? Just go. Just go.It’s only water.”
I go, deep. My goggles fly off my head. My contact lenses are somewhere in the pool.
“We’re proud of you, Gammy.”
I am more proud of them. For patience. For not bullying.
My grandson climbs out of the pool and hands me my goggles.
“Do it again.”