Friday, July 29, 2011

Just 3 reasons I love my kids to swim

Just Three
Even though I grew up in Southern California, I was not a strong swimmer. Ironically, I took my only formal swim lessons in a little Idaho town where I was staying with my dairy-farm cousins one summer. Other than those lessons, I learned to swim by being tossed in our next-door-neighbors’ pool and dog-paddling my way through childhood. 

Swimming took on new meaning 12 years ago when my own children started swimming competitively for the Mission Valley Barracudas. Tomorrow they will, once again, participate in the East Bay Swim League Championships. Today, along with all the other 1200 swimmers, they’ll go to the Olympic-size pool at Chabot College to get used to the deep water, high blocks, and multiple lane lines. Today is also my first time not going with them to the day-before warm-ups. Yep, they’re growing up, and I kind of miss being part of the excitement and pre-meet buzz.

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Paying it forward

My two sad sisters
“I have a flat tire!” my sister wailed, flailing her arms as she ran toward my car. She was trying to wave us down before we drove out of the parking lot. My sisters and I had intentionally tried to avoid the snarly L.A. traffic by staying at Santa Monica Beach until evening. Now, after a full day of activity with more than a dozen tired and hungry teenage nieces and nephews, our trip home would be further delayed. However, instead of complaining, the four strapping young boys in my car immediately started taking on the problem as their own. “I’m a Boy Scout!” and “We know what to do,” and “We’ve got this, guys!” they shouted. I pulled over, the doors flew open, and out jumped our ad hoc repair crew.