When I was a kid, a little kid, three years old or so, some temporary miasma of kindness must have struck my mother. She took time off from her growling and howling and took me out to the Long Island Sound. There she found a lifeguard who would, on his days' off give me swim lessons.
When the weather turned the murky waters of the Sound too cold to continue, she shoved me into a class at the local Y, where I continued my lessons. By the time I was four, I was fairly a prodigy in the water. You could hardly keep me out.
When my own kids were born, I rushed them into swim classes. I knew city kids had few opportunities to learn swimming, so I entered them in classes at the Y when they were each around 18 months old. It also gave us some time together, where I could hold them. And they didn't mind holding me.
My older daughter went on to become New York State 15 and under mile champion. She swam for the US team in the Maccabi Games and swam at a Division 1 college. Just a month or so ago, she finished in the top-fifteen in a mile-long open water swim outside of Boston, where she lives.
My younger daughter is a scuba instructor, with hundreds of dives on four continents under her belt. I don't think she'd mind dropping out of college and teaching diving for five years before returning.
Today, my last day of vacation, I went on two lovely dives with my wife. We saw beautiful reefs, fan coral, a baby turtle, a school of shimmering tarpon and a couple iconoclastic barracuda. Later, all of us cavorted in and around the pool at our villa for hours.
Tomorrow I head back to a not-so-green New York and a very un-liquid America. We have a small pool in our apartment house, but we seldom use it, especially since the kids have flown the coop.
No advertising point.
Just felt like writing.