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Let's Go for a Swim!

Swimming is a big thing in our community. Kids begin when they are babies, do it year-round, and strive to make the school swimming club. We also live near a large body of water and swimming is something to do when it’s bitterly cold six months of the year. They both had multiple lessons as babies and toddlers. I should have just flushed the money down the toilet, as my children are still so scared of water, they refuse to take showers and baths are akin to water boarding.

Swim lessons are definitely in order.

The kids strip off their clothes, put their swimsuits on, then realize they need to use the restroom immediately. Both bathrooms are occupied. My son is instantly sidetracked by the wall of lockers. I throw their belongings in our locker, while they cram their bodies into lockers #4 and #6. Two more families stroll in, to get changed for swim lessons. They try to use the lockers, but children are in them instead. They literally run into their swim teacher as they bound out the door to the pool. They show their excitement for the lessons by sitting on the top step of the stairs to the pool and refusing to move. In conversation, my son tells the swim instructor his hot dog is small. The swim instructor doesn’t respond, but looks at me perplexingly. He repeats himself, shouting, “My hot dog is small!”

I force a small smile, while I silently curse and look towards the lap pool, engrossed in swimmers doing the back stroke. The instructor plays water games and breaks the ice with the kids, trying to acclimate them to the water. Kids play and get a bit more comfortable.

Both kids are instructed to splash water on their faces. Both staunchly refuse. Finally, my daughter splashes her face a bit, with my son following. I then watch him stick out his tongue and lap up the pool water like a damn dog. I cringe and turn my attention to my phone, pretending to send a text.

I run to the front desk to grab towels and a plastic bag for wet swimsuits. When I return, I see the swim instructor and the kids exiting the pool. A few other kids and their swim teachers are getting out of the pool as well. Another staff member appears with a net. I catch a worker mouth the word, vomit.


The swim lesson continues in the adjacent lap pool. Kids complain they are cold. Complain they are bored. Want to know why they switched pools. Try to persuade their teacher to let them back in the small pool. They watch a two-year-old swim from one end of the pool to the other. Promptly begin arm strokes with ‘ice cream scoops,' butts still firmly planted on the pool steps.

They never even got into the actual pool. Back in the locker room, I rip off wet suits and listen to woes of frigidity and demands of footy pajamas. My son continues to stand naked and sob, while my daughter tells me her swimsuit has given her a rash and she probably can’t go to school tomorrow.

A very large elderly man enters the locker room. As he undresses, he makes loud audible sighs and grunts. His swim trunks look like a cheese cloth draped over a large chunk of Lacey Swiss. The kids ask if he is going to take swim lessons. As I ask my children for the 10th time to put on their pants, I realize their socks and shoes are still in the locker behind me. I swivel to my right to grab the remaining belongings when my face meets crotch. Lacey Swiss crotch.

I am so embarrassed and surprised, I freeze. I am motionless, unblinking. Feeling subconscious, I finally collect myself and mumble an ‘excuse me,’ as I maneuver around him to my locker.

He then lightly laughs and says, “My son was the same way.”

Same way what?! Same crotch? I need a little more here.

I need to get the hell out of this locker room. Forty-five minutes of swimming lesson hell has come to a close. ...till next Wednesday that is.

I am an educator by trade...

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