Head Above Water
As a child I loved going swimming.
I loved splashing around in the water.
I would spend hours at the local pool.
My parents put us in swimming lessons to make sure we knew how to swim. Once we were good enough swimmers, and mastered the basics (front crawl, back crawl, diving, treading water, etc.) we were allowed to quit lessons and just swim for fun.
So, when my sister and I were old enough to bike to the local pool, we’d go every day possible during the summer for public swim. Entrance into the pool cost $1.00. When they put waterslides in, the cost was $1.00 to swim + $2.00 to go on the slides. But, you didn’t have to pay for the waterslides if you didn’t want to go on them.
My parents agreed to pay the $1.00 for us. But if we wanted to go on the slides, we had to pay the extra from our allowance. Ya right, we totally “snuck” the extra $2.00 each from their change jar to pay for it. As, an adult, I now realize we were really stealing form our parents (so not cool). I suspect they knew and didn’t care, because really it was the cheapest, safest and healthiest way for us to pass our summer.
While my sister and I almost always rode our bikes together on our way to and from the pool, often times we’d met friends there and go our separate ways once we inside. Other times, we’d go together, spend the time together in the pool just enjoy the company of one and other.
I remember, the very first time I was able to go into the deep-end of the pool (3m deep I think). It was clearly over my head, but I was a good enough swimmer that it just didn’t matter. I felt like i could conquer anything!
So the next time, I intentionally set out to swim to the bottom of the pool and touch it with my hand. Yup, I could conquer anything! We would have races to see who could touch the bottom and get back to the surface the quickest.
Other days, we would see who could tread water the longest before having to retreat to the safety of the pool’s edge due to our tired arms and legs. Yes, we were daring little kids. But, wow, was it fun!
My love for swimming continues even now as an adult. Whenever we travel somewhere warm, whether we are in Panama, Thailand, Cambodia, or Hawaii, I am always happy to find a nice pool to jump into, or a calm ocean to dip my toes in. And, if I’m lucky my husband will even join me.
Now, here I am, feeling like I am playing a constant real like version of the treading water game, and I’m the only competitor. I jumped off the ledge over two years ago, the sharks have tried to destroy me on 5 different occasions and yet I am still here, treading water and working tirelessly to keep my head above water. The sunshine is fleeting at best, the water somehow seems darker, the depth unknown and the creatures below less friendly.
I can see my husband, he’s in the water with me – neither of us can save the other one, yet neither of us can do this alone. We have a few
people on the side lines cheering us on, but really, I’m alone in the deep-end, and no-one is able to throw me a life preserver. I am scared of the sharks below, and fighting to stay afloat.
To lose, means I have to admit defeat and give up. I either drown in the pool (which sure as hell won’t happen, I just won’t let it) or swim back to the ledge, and accept that our current childfree life will continue. I hope that rather than swimming back to the same ledge I jumped off of two years ago, I’ll be able to cross the pool to the other side, and see this all in a different light. Make peace with the deep-end.
To win, means our gamble on Dr. B, works. Our substantial financial and emotional investment will pay off, and we will get the healthy baby we have been dreaming of. The hope that has kept us going, doesn’t let us down in the end. And, eventually, if we win, I’ll be able to go back into the pool without fear, my nemeses, at my side. I’ll be able to return, with our baby to spend mommy and baby time at a swimming pool. Teaching our child to swim, just as my mom did with us.
Oh, please let us win this…
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