Languish at the Lake

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.


Emma Sometimes said...

OH, your poor boy. I couldn't help but laugh at your pastor, saying over and over, "it's hard to get on that raft".

By the way Ariel needs a spanking. That cartoom drives me nuts, but it's a fact, the girl can swim..hehe. Even without a sputter....darn her.

shealyisnottheantichrist said...

I am so jealous. It sounds as if the people at your church actually care about you and want to spend time with you. Your pastor actually speaks to you. Amazing.

Anonymous said...

well I can't swim either so I don't have any thing to say other than water stinks

Anonymous said...

Gee, that whole raft behind the boat thing sounds like a lot of fun! Good for you for trying to give your kids some swimming pointers, although it's probably a little like when I tried to teach my kids to play the piano - it was hard to get them to take me seriously, and I ended up taking them to a regular piano teacher anyway. I suppose you home-schoolers have a distinct advantage on that front, though...maybe. Do you?

Carolanne said...

You write so well! You have us there with you, seeing everything, picturing the scene and holding our breath correctly under water too.

My parents taught all of us how to swim when we were very young - too young to even remember being taught. When my son and dh first took up body surfing, I used to worry about Nathan's safety cause I hadn't taught him to swim very often. But he managed and survived and loves it.

It does sound like you all had a lot of fun! Wish I could have been there. In fact, it would be much nicer being there than having to sit inside looking outside on a dull, overcast, wet, rainy day in the middle of winter.

Roll on Summer!

Anonymous said...

Everyone needs to go to my blog and read your hilarious comment. you always say how serious you are but I find your humor very funny

R said...

Emma--I know, my boy is a bit comedic and he never intends to be. The other boys his age don't understand him and it can just turn into a mess....

Yes, my pastor was being so kind, he did go on that raft, however, so he knew what it was like.

Ariel bothers me too, but the Girl just adores her. GRRR..

Shealy--Yes, they are such nice people and the pastor is amazing. We are a very small church right now, but I hope it grows. I think it will, there are many caring people there. You, my friend, have just had some really bad experiences and have had "church" the wrong way so many times that what should be normal seems like a pipe dream. I will pray you find a church some day where your needs can be met. :)

Ba Doozie--you can't swim?

JRH--We are supposed to have some sort of advantage, but I think teaching swimming is a little easier than teaching piano. At least for me. I can make my kids do all manner of things to get them to *see* what I am doing in the water and they can imitate. So far imitation and a few descriptive instructions have worked well. I can't play piano well at all---in fact, I suck, so I guess I just don't play but wish I could, and my son plays very nice. He had a few years lessons besides playing by ear since he was a toddler, so he can pretty much pick any song up and play it nicely. He is a little rough on his theory, but that can change. I hope to get him on guitar within this next year so he can be really good when he gets older. What do you think of that plan?

Carolanne--Thank you! I am convinced that I don't write too well, but it is great hearing that from someone I believe writes superbly!

Just hearing about body surfing scares me. I remember as a kid going out boogie boarding in the first grade with a friend and her nanny took us to the beach---I can not believe that she just sat in the sun with her eyes closed while we tumbled around in the waves. Um, I could have died a few times. God certainly directed my life I think because I lost my place a good bit and somehow made it to shore. I am so glad that Russel was there for Nathan! Of course the ocean in Australia is much more crazy, is it not? I have never been there, but I have heard some things. Not sure if it is valid or not.

We did have some fun. Sorry you are on the other side of the planet! Gee it sounds weird saying that.

Ba Doozie---I think it is because we both like Mr. Bean. I think those who like Mr. Bean are of a different breed. Dear Sir and I could be watching Bean and he would not laugh one single moment until I start laughing until I feel like dying and then he somehow catches the fever. But that is how I am with the things he thinks are funny too. By the time he starts wiping his eyes because he is laughing at Jack Black, or Seinfeld, I have to laugh too because it is just funny seeing him laugh.

I remember the first time I read your blog---I was almost on the floor laughing so hard and my husband looked at me like I was a freak. "What are you reading?!" he asked.

I showed him the picture of the moldy hamburger left in the Boy's backpack from school the year before and he winced. He did not laugh. "That is sick," he said.
"That is funny!" I yelled.

Anonymous said...

Hey, the younger the better, when it comes to music of any kind - as long as it stays sorta fun and not too much of a chore. I wish I'da learned the guitar at that age...or at any age, for that matter. Is it too late?

R said...

JRH---never too late. You can still do it. I would go and get a guitar today if funds permit. It is a great stress reliever.

The Woman said...

Can't swim here either... I'm afraid of the water. The Man took The Kid wading once. Now she thinks she can swim. Just have to keep her away from water. Sigh.