When I was a little girl, I thought I could do everything, if I just tried hard enough. That’s how I learned to whistle. That’s how I learned to jump rope. That’s how I learned to swim. I didn’t think of it as work, or perseverance, or competition. I just thought it was finding a way to get what I wanted. I was pretty good at it, too.
Once after Deanna and I, and Nancy, Deanna’s best friend from across the road, learned how to swim, our dads took us way, way out in the lake on inner tubes. I loved to swim. I could swim all day, I liked it so much. The two dads swam out over their heads with us girls on our inner tubes. Nancy had a huge inner tube from a tractor, that was the best fun ever, ’cause about six kids could fit on that inner tube all at the same time. Deanna and I just had regular old inner tubes that had a bunch of patches on them ’cause they were finally no good for anything except swimming. My dad believed in patching stuff up until there were more patches than stuff. Nancy’s dad bought her inner tube from the gas station: no patches; they were rich.
Way, way out in the lake was a sand dune. Once the dads got out there, we got off the inner tubes. Next the dads got in the inner tubes and us girls started swimming to shore. Dad floated right behind, telling me what a good swimmer I was and ‘keep it up’, and ‘wow, I can’t believe how those girls can swim’, and other nice stuff like that. It was super-easy, ’cause if I got tired of the Continue reading