Scary stories from a lovely place
I love the water. Some of my best memories throughout life so far involve swimming in one place or another. It’s so cleansing, and cooling. It’s likely the only chance I will have to experience weightlessness; that feeling of buoyancy, where limbs float around seemingly unattached to the rest of my body.
I always hoped my kids would also love swimming.
But Silas hates it. I think he likes the concept, he gets excited when we go to the beach, and he tries, bless his wee heart. But he’s scared. He hates being coerced into anything and so I leave him to paddle and throw rocks at the waves without trying to convince him he is okay.
Oisín is not like that. He loves it. He is bold. He jumps in with no regard for how dangerous the water actually is. He wants to be plunged under the water, even though when he comes up terror is in his eyes. But then he asks for more. He tries to push me away when we are swimming as if he knows he and the water are one and I am getting in the way of the fun.
I love to see their different responses to the water, and to encourage them in both their trepidation and folly.
I think I will always want to be with my kids when they are swimming, even when they can do it competently. The water is just so deathly. It can kill quickly and silently. Hopefully I can sow into my children both a love of and confidence for the water as well as a deep respect for it’s inherent danger.