Yesterday friends from church invited us to their home along with the pastor and his family and another family. They have a lake at the back of their house with a dock and a boat and the children all went on this raft and had a blast.
Dear Sir and I sat in the boat and watched all of our children on this raft hold on for dear life as the boat plowed through the water. Granted, they all had life vests on, but it was still a little frightening. Dear Sir would not look at me the whole time. I giggled at their delighted faces as they hopped here and there, splashed this way and that, and bounced on the water because I was extremely nervous. Our kids are nerds, they read books, and they barely swim.
In fact, I got a nice shiny burn last week because I decided that I would go in the pool to teach them how to polish their swimming. The Oldest swims like a cartoon, having no clue what to really do, just splashing around. All he really has to do is scream help and a life guard will come to his aid, that is how ridiculous he swims. I had to put and end to that. I went in there and taught them for a few hours with no sunscreen (like a flaming idiot) and taught them to dive, float, breath stroke, go off the diving board (!) and use no goggles. I also taught them to hold their breath underwater the proper way so they would stop using their fingers to plug their noses. I know, they were lost and I had to help them.
Eraser Eater swims like a fish, but a little lopsided. He had become so accustomed to swimming with only one arm (the other arm used to plug his nose) that he got pretty good at it. He would somehow squirm across the water in a quick motion with only one arm darting here and there to guide his little body.
I can't even talk about the Girl. She just learned how to wade a little and go under the water with her eyes closed. She swims a little from one end of the pool to me, but that is it. I have to work with her more.
So, with this in mind, I was a bit nervous seeing our kids on that raft. The boys I felt confident about since they were swimming in the "deep end" already, but The Girl was in trouble. Once the raft ride was over they all had to jump off it into the water and swim to the boat. Oh man, was that an ordeal. It was all drama and ridiculous. The Oldest was acting like a survivor of the Titanic, Eraser Eater was just fine, and The Girl just couldn't get it together to doggy paddle. "Go to the rope!" yelled the pastor. She somehow got to the rope and I had to get all specific with her, with great anticipation on the side of the boat (almost about to jump in), telling her to act "like Kim Possible" and pull herself toward the boat by climbing the rope. "Act like Batgirl!" I yelled. She smiled and laughed and that seemed to be the ticket, she got in just fine after that. In my attempts to get her to swim I have to remind her to think of how Ariel swims in The Little Mermaid once she gets human legs to get her to do it the right way. It actually works. Good grief, I have to use my mind too much.
At one point the Oldest was going to go on the raft with two other boys his age and they all had to jump in the water and swim to the raft. All the powers of darkness doomed my boy, for he could not get his big ol' butt on that raft for the life of him. He yelped all frustrated like Mickey Mouse, whimpered and winced, tried with all his might, but he could not get his stocky self up there. One of the boys (who doesn't take to well to him) got himself on the raft and we had to ask him to take one of my boy's hands to help him up while the other boy (still in the water) put his head beneath my sons butt and pushed him up. All I could think about was Chris Farley. At every attempt to hoist the boy on the raft, we heard high-pitched exclamations come from him, some saying, "this is impossible!" "I will never get on this raft!" "I am DOOMED!" and garbage like that. I get past the point of being embarrassed anymore. I have to hide my face and laugh in my hands because it is literally like a comedy sketch.
"He weighs nearly as much as me," I said, thinking that that information would help.
"It's hard to get on that raft," the pastor said.
"If he could put that weight into muscle, he would be a really strong kid," the guy who owns and the boat and who was driving it, said.
"weights," I said, "we could use some weights."
"It's really hard to get on that raft," the pastor said, "it's a lot bulkier than you think."
But when you are a little bulky yourself, it makes it that much harder, I thought but did not say.
By some miracle, through the help of the other two boys, my son got on the raft in a final yelp of triumph like a baby was being birthed, and off the boat went, dragging the raft behind it.
After that get together we took the kids to the local fireworks display once it was getting dark, and got in line for some kettle corn and cotton candy.
"What did you think of the raft?" I asked the man.
"I thought that our kids couldn't swim," he said.
"They seemed to have fun," I laughed.
"I was very nervous for her on that thing." He pointed to the Girl.
"You wouldn't look at me," I said.
"I was watching her!"
Apparently Dear Sir got scared out if his wits. I know that if something had happened (which nothing would because she had a life jacket on) the pastor, who was in a swim suit and who is incredibly athletic, would have jumped in to get her if Dear Sir or I were not fast enough. Dear Sir would most likely just push me in and say, "Save her!" if we were the only two on the boat. And it would be better that way because I could remind my daughter of how Ariel washed up on the shore in front of Prince Eric's castle and she didn't even cough or sputter.