Tuesday, October 28, 2008

That's My Daughter in the Water

Took Linnea to her swim lesson for the first time tonight (my first time, not hers). They were held at the high school down the road from her mom's. I felt like we were an odd pair walking through the halls of the high school. I spent a lot of time at the high school in Durango, so that wasn't so strange, but I hadn't been in a high school locker room in many many years and it didn't really bring back good memories.

We were early and there was some sort of diving team practice going on (which continued at the opposite end of the pool throughout Linnea's lesson). It was a girls' team with a male coach who equally berated and joked with the girls. At one point he seemed to be sending a few of them home, and I couldn't tell in what spirit or under what circumstances this was happening. Their dives were video taped then instantly played back on a TV on the wall. One girl used a large harness that the coach somewhat controlled with one end of a rope. She was doing flips. The coach kept saying he thought that maybe she could do it without the harness. I'm not sure exactly what the harness was doing to help her.

As for Linnea's lessons, I was unclear as to whether she was being taught by high school students or what. First a friendly girl who seemed to be about college age came over, but she didn't know Linnea. She asked who she was and who her teacher was (I didn't know the answer to the second question, but she was able to look it up on her list). There were about 4 different teachers/classes going on simultaneously with different age groups. I'm not sure if her teacher today was her regular teacher. She was also youngish, but I don't think high school age. I came to the conclusion that the lessons were through the park district and they were just renting the school's pool. The girl seemed to be doing an okay job, but it seemed to be just that to her - a job. Some of the other teachers seemed to be enjoying themselves, but her not so much. She often looked up at me when she would tell Linnea something as if she was concerned that I wouldn't approve of how she was working with my daughter. I sat on the bleachers and read.

As I watched Linnea on one end of the pool and the high schoolers on the other, I couldn't help but think about how soon she'll be on the other end. It's a strange and sad thing, and maybe it's just me that does it, to have a daughter who's only 4 and already be sad that her childhood is so short. I wish I could do a better job of just living in the moment. I definitely understand how people end up with multiple children - every little bit of their independence is a piece of your heart and you long for that time when they were completely dependent on you (and unable to talk back) and you forget about the not sleeping and crying all the time parts.

Loudon Wainwright III - "Daughter"

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