Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Going for a Plunge

Many years ago while on vacation with my parents and grandparents, we stopped to spend the night a hotel, and like all youngsters, the pool was always the highlight of the trip. For many of these places, kids under a certain age are required to be accompanied by an adult, and Grandpa came with me. It was nighttime in the indoor pool, so it was a little hard to see in the water even though there were some pool lights illuminating the area. As I swam around the pool, Grandpa seemed to be content just to relax in a chair near the pool. Grandpa didn't speak a lot of English, having been raised from a youth in a Spanish-speaking home, but we did fine in communicating day-to-day things.

At one point, I swam over to the side and convinced Grandpa to get in. Although he was somewhat reticent about getting in, he jumped into the water. Within moments, I realized two important truths: (1) a non-swimmer and 7 feet of water don't mix and (2) being grounded forever for drowning a family member is not a fun way to spend the rest of your life.

As Grandpa surfaced, he was grasping for air, and I panicked because I had no idea that he couldn't swim. I grabbed his arm and pulled him over the the side, and after catching his breath, he let a somewhat embarrassed laugh. I was just glad I wasn't going to appear on the 10 o'clock evening news.

The it came to me. Two additional truths: I was certainly not going to say anything about the incident because I didn't want to get blamed or punished for an accident. "Oh, Mom, but the way, I almost drowned your Father. So, what's to eat?" I also realized quickly that Grandpa wasn't about to say anything either. Too embarrassing of an incident. The rest of the evening, Grandpa stayed in the water by the side of the pool, and we fortunately were able to laugh it off between the two of us.

Having had such experiences, I try to laugh things off when my own kids make silly mistakes. None of us is exempt at any page.

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