"Got a picture of her when she was 14 in a swimming cap. She looks like a falcon." - Michael, Arrested Development
Our pool on a nice an sunny day. Wait, what’s that next to the swimming pool? Is that a pocket Bigfoot? Yeah. Must be. I think I need to get the Bigfoot zapper light working again. You may click on the picture to embiggen it.
Perhaps the best thing about living in Houston (besides the traffic, man, I just love traffic) is the swimming pool, or, as The Mrs. refers to it, “The Cement Pond.” (The Mrs. kicked me when I wrote that, but I couldn’t resist.)
Swimming pools are an absolutely decadent way to spend an afternoon, especially if you’re eating steak and caviar in the pool while oppressing serfs. Recipe substitution: oppressing a simple peasant family covered with oregano and flour will do if you’re out of serfs.
One of my great pleasures is coming home from work and finding the family in the pool, swimming. I quickly slip into my swimsuit and goggles. The Mrs. says the goggles make me look like the ultimate nerd, but I really like to be able to see underwater and ensure that there are no grizzly-shark (the sharzzly) hybrids that were the result of a government experiment that escaped the laboratory hiding in the deep end.
Our family fun has generally consisted of The Mrs. and I swimming around while The Boy and Pugsley use various floatation devices, trusting their lives to Chinese pool toys, to meander around in the pool.
For some reason, The Boy doesn’t trust me. I think it has something to do with the time in his life when he was afraid of the closet monster he dubbed “Ribbler” and I hid in the closet with a glow in the dark, neon green, alien head and jumped out at midnight screaming that I was going to eat his liver. Maybe that was it.
In the context of the pool, though, he had huge issues. I think he was worried I was going to bite a bit of plastic out of his swim ring and then leave him to slowly sink and drown in the deep end. Oh, sure, the thought crossed my mind, but that would preclude me from twisting his life up further.
I bought a toy, the Toypedo®. Although it looks exactly like a German V2 rocket, it is made of rubber and will not hit London unless you take it there and slam it to the ground. The Toypedo© is, however, really cool at slicing through the water like Paris Hilton slices through, oh, I guess tomatoes, when she’s making a sandwich. The Boy and I created a rather intricate game that involved the number of times you caught the Toypedo™ before it hit the bottom of the pool.
The point of this game was twofold. First, fun. Second, getting The Boy, who was afraid of water as a cat, to stick his mug underwater. You can’t play Toypedo® from a swim ring. Within two weeks, The Boy was swimming like a fish, but didn’t realize it.
The Mrs. realized the crux of the matter. It was, of course, the Boy Scouts.
The Boy worships Scouting principles like they were written down by Moses. After Moses got his Eagle Scout, of course. The Mrs. noticed that the Wolf Scout badge required The Boy to swim 32 miles on one breath, and tread water for 34 hours. She told that to The Boy. The Mrs. suggested that The Boy swim (next to the edge of the pool) as far as he could. The Boy swam the length of the pool.
The Boy looked at me in shock. I told him, “Come on over. You can swim.”
Since then The Boy has been like a (very, very awkward) fish in water. With a few free moments he wants to hit the pool and swim around in his unique, spastic way.
Am I proud? Yes. Very much. The Boy discovered that the biggest enemy that he was fighting was his own fear. And his learning that lesson is worth living in Houston and enjoying the traffic, filled with insane, maniac, crack-addled Texas drivers on their way to the Oklahoma Psycho Convention.