Wednesday, June 24, 2009


There are a few constants that I've always known about my mother.

1. She never likes to go anywhere without full hair and makeup done.

2. She's a vitamin, organic, anything health related fanatic.


3. She cannot swim, is terrified of water, and can barely stand water on her head in the shower.

So, imagine my surprise yesterday after I told her we were going to go swimming at our neighbor's pool, she said, "I think I'll come with you."

Now, our neighbor's pool is all one depth across. The water only comes to my mom's stomach, but last summer, this caused her great anxiety. The kids even tried to reason with her that should she accidentally be put under water SHE COULD STAND UP. This did nothing to console her.

And if the fear of water isn't enough, my mom worries about sunscreen, sunburn, the kids needing a snack, the kids needing a drink. Making sure the kids don't swallow pool water, making sure I know that The Early Show told everyone that showering immediately after swimming in a pool is a necessity because of all the chemicals that are on your skin.

Hello, anxiety personified!

This summer L and O have become very comfortable in the water. They're always jumping in and have almost gotten the hang of swimming underwater. They also like to get on rafts and then fall off and bob back up to the top. This all causes my mom to hyperventilate at the sight since she knows that she would drown if she were pushed off a know, because she'd forget to stand up.

Olivia was floating along on a tube and was near the ladder. My mom happened to be standing next to the ladder and Olivia flipped herself over off the raft. Half way across the pool, I had Kate on a raft pushing her around. She saw Olivia fall off and started screaming because Kate isn't a fan of going underwater and so she thinks everyone else must be afraid, too.

Suddenly, my mom slips into panic mode where she says, "Oh my gosh!" and then throws her hands up in the air. I'm still trying to figure out why my mom is freaking out when she reaches into the water and pulls Olivia out of the water by her hair.

Um, really? Is this how the Red Cross wants people to save swimmers? Hair pulling?

Olivia came out of the water SCREAMING because her grandmother was pulling her hair out by the roots.

Trying to figure out what was going through my mom's head at this point, I ask her why she would pull Olivia's hair and she answered, "Because Olivia was screaming for help. She was drowning."

I pointed out that Olivia had fallen off on purpose, was underwater on purpose, and wasn't screaming. If she were screaming, would we have heard her? The screamer was her sister who decided to be terrified for no reason.

My mom's reply? "Ooops."

That's all--just ooops.

Ironically, with all this fear of water, my parents live on a lake. I don't know how she lives that close to deep water every day. She says it's peaceful. Go figure.

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