Monday, November 3, 2008

Diving into the Depths

Here's Dominic in the bath last week. He has a thing about these goggles, and usually wears them every bath he has. He does a lot of going underwater and holding his breath for long periods of time. He floats there, arms spread, staring down at his Lego men fanned across the floor. Sometimes I catch myself dashing to the bath because the splashes have been silent too long for my comfort level. He almost drowned in a swim class a few years ago, and my heart hasn't beat the same way since.

The funny thing is, his twin (FDPG) almost drowned in the very same class at the very same moment (their instructor wasn't able to manage all the kids and they both sank without him noticing), and when the lifeguard and I hauled them out of the water, her first spluttering words were: "I was seeing how long I could swim underwater!" Little Miss Indomitable. Dominic knew he'd had a close call, though. I was glad I'd been sitting there, watching them, a few feet away from me. If I'd been elsewhere, I wouldn't have seen them sink down to the bottom of the pool. I wouldn't have blinked, appalled, at the impossibly young instructor moving along, utterly oblivious. I wouldn't have shrieked and jumped in with all my clothes on, either, grabbing the nearest child by the hair, thinking "please don't let this be happening please don't let this be happening."

But I was. And I did.

I sat poolside then; I sit poolside now.

But this post wasn't meant to be a How My Children Almost Drowned piece. It was meant to be about this photo. This funny child, sitting in the water in his swim goggles, looking at me as though I were a foreign species. I like this shot a lot. I can see his adult self here: quirky, distracted, curious, and idiosyncratic. Hmmm, he's thinking, where am I? Who am I? Who is that person, holding that camera? And why is she looking at me like that?

1 comment:

Nicola said...

Scary! The nearly-drowning, that is, not the photo. Seems like one's parenting life is full of those "please don't let them kill themselves" moments.