So remember how I can’t swim because I am almost thirty years old and haven’t overcome this little thing called A RIDICULOUSLY ENORMOUS FEAR OF WATER? Right. That is the story of why I am signing up for swimming lessons.
Probably you are wondering why my husband doesn’t teach me to swim and the answer to that question is that we tried. It didn’t work out. Jeff says it’s because I clung to his neck screaming “DON’T LET ME GO! DON’T LET ME GO!” the entire time but I will neither confirm nor deny that statement. Just kidding. I’ll confirm it. That’s totally how that shiznit went down. In the shallow end.
But I went a gave birth to a child and I’m now in charge of really important things like HER ENTIRE LIFE. That means that probably if I want her to have a healthy relationship with water (and I do since it covers like 90% of our planet and thus she will most likely encounter large bodies of it at many points in her life) I need to teach her things like water safety. Mainly: how to get out of the water if you fall into it.
I can’t do that because if you tossed me in a large body of water right this very minute, I would flounder about and then sink to the bottom because I have no skills at swimming.
That is assuming that you could GET me in the water though. I am AMAZING at clinging to people who don’t know that I can’t swim and think it would be funny to toss me in a pool. Ask every single guy who went on our church youth retreat circa 1998. Actually, just ask that one guy who tried it and then found a tiny little Kayla Aimee wrapped around his neck screaming like a banshee in a voice so terrified and shrill that the entire beach ran over to see who was killing one thousand rabbits by the swimming pool.
That was a great day. It made me really popular with all the boys and no one didn’t want to date me because word spread that I was a complete whackadoo. And Aaron Samuels* totally didn’t throw a chair at me on purpose when someone told him that I had a crush on him. Just kidding. He totally did. My awkward stage lasted a really long time, y’all.
So my two year old is getting signed up for swimming lessons. And so am I. Because until she learns to swim, I am never going to feel comfortable taking her near any sort of water deeper than my ankles knowing that I could not save her if she fell in. Oh, I would jump in after her. But I would be useless to both of us once I was actually in said water and that is a terrible thing to fear as a mother.
And that is why I decided to look up swimming lessons online at our local aquatic center.
The first adult class listed was for 18+ and the description noted that it was for people who had a fear of water to learn the basics. I mean, it literally included the phrase “introduction to deep water.” And I felt reassured like, THERE ARE OTHERS LIKE ME. THEY CREATED A WHOLE CLASS FOR PEOPLE LIKE ME. I AM NOT ALONE!
I have not felt that accepted since the day I became friends with my BFF, who would later become Prom Queen, thus ensuring that boys would begin speaking to me. Granted, they were all just asking me to set them up with my best friend (even the ones that I was dating YOU KNOW WHO YOU ARE) but they weren’t throwing chairs at my head anymore and that was something.
At least, until I read the name of the class was “ADULT BABIES.”
And then I was all “YOU DON’T HAVE TO INSULT ME, AQUATIC CENTER. I’m totally AWARE that I am a baby about this whole water issue. Have you ever heard of a little thing called FACING YOUR FEARS? Because I like to call that FLIPPIN HEROIC. People write whole books about things like that. In fact, I’m going to write a book. It will be called JUST KEEP SWIMMING. (If Disney allows it. Ellen DeGenerous can write the forward.) And it will detail my brave attempt at learning to swim for my daughter so that I can be a responsible parent even though I’m so afraid of water that I can’t even fully enjoy a bath. And my bathtub has JETS. And it will be so moving that it will sell more copies than Eat, Pray Love and someone will want to turn it into a movie and people will be inspired to do brave things, like climb Mount Everest or…
It’s called Adult BASICS.
Well, that makes more sense.
(I’d still like to request that an Olsen Twin portray me in the movie. Or failing that, Emma Roberts.)
(After writing this, I had no idea which category to put it in and then I was all “Oh right, I have an entire space dedicated to my neurosis.”)
(*Name slightly changed to protect THE GUY WHO THREW A CHAIR AT ME. I am such a good person because that totally does not even deserve anonymity, yo.)