Strange For An Island Girl
Most people find it hard to believe that I can't swim. I live on an island for heaven's sake! I should be able to swim!
Truth is that I am very afraid of water. My father tried in vain to teach us (my sister and I) when we were younger. My parents were divorced so my Dad would come to pick us up to take us to the beach sometimes. Whenever my mother knew that that was the plan, she and my grandmother would sit us down and read to us every "drowning" story from the newspaper. None of the women in my family know how to swim, at least on my mother's side.
The end result was that my sister and I clung to my father's legs like live starfish and never learned to swim.
My sister wanted to become a flight attendant and tried to learn to swim but never could. Her fears were too deeply rooted. As for me, I fell in love with the water. Just looking at it calmed me and I used to imagine myself just free floating in it. So, I took my first lesson.......
I wish that this story had a happy ending but no, I still can't swim. I have learned to tread water and to float but I can only do that when I am sure that once I put my feet down, I'll touch bottom. So I stay in the shallow end in the pool and stay in the surf at the beach. I'm usually the girl with a bikini bottom fulll of sand :-D
But I haven't made the same mistake with my daughters. My husband swims like a fish and I made every effort not to pass my own fears onto my girls. Thankfully, they are fearless at the beach and in the pool. They swim, play and have fun, oblivious to any possible dangers, the same dangers which paralyse me.