Going Swimming, Deep Thoughts and Then She Spoke.

August 15, 2015


I’ve been working late every night this week, and it’s the second week of August. By the time I got home it was 6:45. I’d promised my daughter a trip to Nantasket Beach tonight.

She probably would have been happier if we’d ordered a pizza and watched back to back episodes of Law and Order.

It was 7 pm when we loaded the car with a couple towels, clean underwear, and a gym bag with shampoo and swim goggles. Katy had a bottle of water. I was sipping on a cup of coffee I found on the kitchen table left over from this morning.

It was hot today, but it’s already the middle of August. By the time we got to the beach, it was 7:30. There was still sunlight, but a storm just left and another one’s coming in tomorrow. The water was cold.

I’m from New Jersey. It took me 5 years before I’d  put my head in the water when we visited the Cape. Ten years before I’d even consider swimming in the waves, even on the bay side. It’s only been in the past few years that if I’m at the beach, and there’s not snow on the ground, or snow expected, I swim.

Katy went out with me. She danced around in the water. She scolded me. She laughed at me.images

She told me stories about camp and some cooking channel on youtube and showed off some design on her fingernails.

And then Katy told me she’d had enough.  She smiled sweetly, swam back to the shore, dried off and repainted her toenails.

I threw my body into the water, it was pretty damn cold, and I swam. I swam hard and fast. I could feel my muscles pull, my shoulders lift and my palms reach and stretch. I swam hard.

It felt good. The waves were soft, they’d lift me up and swing me, while I swam, and let me down. I never lost rhythm.

It’s taken me years and years and years to figure out that even though the water is cold, if I stay in long enough, and move fast enough, I get used to it. And it feels good.

The water, the swim, my hands, my toes, my heart, the sand, it all feels good, if I give it time.

This is something i started to learn later in life. I can get used to anything.

In the summer, in the water, this has served me well.

While I swam tonight, I wondered. What else have I gotten used to?

I’ve been inside this life a long time, I made hard choices and what felt like some bad decisions.

I think everything’s turned out all right.

But maybe I just got comfortable in my surroundings.

I look at Katy on the shore. She’s hard to spot. I don’t have my contacts on, and I swam far away, and even farther back to find her.

I fall out of the water when I’m sure it’s her.

She waits for me. She wraps me in a towel. She helps me find the keys and tells me that coming to Nantasket was a fantastic idea. Even if the water was too cold and my phone is almost out of power and what are we going to do about dinner.

But, Mom, truly, really, really glad you made me come with you.

I’ll never get used to my daughter telling me my ideas are fantastic.

If I’m gotten used to other things, if I’ve grown complacent and there is room for improvement in my life, I am capable of making whatever changes I need to make.

I swam three quarters of a mile in 65 degree water, tide coming in, and my daughter thinks I’m smart. Or at least capable of a good idea.

There’s still hope.


One Response to “Going Swimming, Deep Thoughts and Then She Spoke.”

  1. It’s a good topic, that one can get used to anything. A lesson that unfortunately most of us learn later rather than sooner. I’d love to hear you explore it some more.

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