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January 8, 2003
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Swimming, Jumping Hot Vindaloo, and Walking with Jet

9:05 pm: I am surprised to find that I now love the water.

When I was a child I took the requisite swimming classes. Tadpole to frog to something else aquatic, all the way through to junior life saving, where we got to learn how to not go into a pool after someone. But then the test had us diving to the bottom of the Olympic sized pool trying to 'rescue' a fifty pound weight. I think I was ten. I don't think I weighed fifty pounds. It is amusing to realize that of, possibly, seven or eight years of lessons, the ONLY thing I remember of all that is that test.

Treading water until I thought I was going to drown. Then trying to rescue that stupid diver's weight, and struggling to even break the surface with it. I was one of those kids that could never, ever float. I had to fight just to stay on the surface, and here was this incredible, awful thing dragging me down. I made it just to the edge of the pool and then I tried to hand it to the instructor and my grip slipped and I dropped it.

The instructor was mad at me. She yelled at me, "You could have broken the bottom of the pool! Go get it."

I got it. I don't know how, but I got it from the bottom of that twelve foot pool, again, and this time I threaded it over my arms, and only just got back to the edge of the pool and just clung there until they took it from me.

I hated her. I hated the pool. I really hated the water.

I have never been comfortable with deep water since.

I'm competent enough in it. After taking the Red Cross First Aid series, I'm even reasonably sure that I could probably rescue someone and even get them to start breathing again if they weren't under for too long. Reasonably sure. I am even pretty sure that I could probably have done the swim for the triathlon I'd been thinking of three years ago.

Now I know I could do that. Not with no problems, but without fear, at least. And probably even get a pretty good time. It's one thing I've thanked Joan for in getting me into these deep water aerobics, getting rid of the fear. I'm now incredibly comfortable in deep water. More so than I've ever been, and it's even a comfort to me, now when I get the time to go and be by myself and just concentrate on the exercises, on swimming.

Yeah. I have floats for the class. I am still that kind of person that sinks if they aren't in some kind of motion without some help. But I also know, now, that if I'm in a situation where I'm lost in a middle of an ocean or upended out of a raft, that I will have a life jacket and I will have no problem staying afloat for hours and hours and hours. Treading water is now easy enough that I am able to do it without arms or without legs for a good long while.

I am starting to enjoy the water, though. The buoyancy, the gentle support all over, and the way my body feels as I'm slicing through it. I can feel the turbulence when I kick with both legs, and I can feel the speed I pick up when I concentrate on using my whole leg for each kick. I can feel the speed I gain with each stroke of my arms. I'm getting stronger and it's easy to feel that in the water and it's so nice. And I can just relax, now. Just float, just enjoy being there. It's so nice.

Now I can see why Jet just smiles and smiles and smiles while he's paddling around in his float. It's easy. It's fun. It feels good.

I'm glad not to be scared anymore.

Today was a pretty good day. A fun meeting in the morning, then Jumping Hot Vindaloo for lunch. Sadly, Sudipto couldn't make it as his parents were flying out earlier than they'd expected, and they had to deal with a ton of checked-in luggage and the new regulations.

Rama greeted us gladly when we got to the Royal Bengal and told us that the platter would be out later, as they couldn't serve it on the buffet as it might hurt someone by accident. Hee.

It was hot. It wasn't killer hot, which was good. It tasted wonderful. Everyone loved it, and we put leftovers in a box for Sudipto to get from work tomorrow, if he wanted it. Yay!

I also got to drive everyone in the silver Eurovan and the first thing Bob said was, "Wow! You got a NEW car?!?" I giggled and reassured him that, no, it wasn't a new car. It was used, just gently used. Hee. He liked it and the whole crew talked about Vanagons, Westfelia campers, and campers in general. It was a bit of a hit. I am amused and glad.

Jet was asleep when we got to Joan's, he'd just gone down, and he slept for a good two and a half hours so both John and I got quite a lot done. I got to nurse him after he woke up and then he ate some rice, beans, a cookie, a whole slice of whole wheat bread, and a little apple. I guess that I'm not producing so much milk anymore, and it's just whetting his appetite, now. As he seems to eat more and better after nursing than without, completely. It amused me that he was willing to go for the heel piece of whole wheat bread instead of another cookie. I'm glad he makes those kinds of choices.

We then went outside and played for a while. We just walked all over the rather crunchy yard. It hasn't snowed worth a darn this winter, so far, and everything is as dry as tinder. The 'grass' crunches while I walk on it and the little pine trees are all looking a bit grimly brown. I am thinking that eventhough we have to have the sprinkler system off for the winter that it wouldn't hurt to soak the trees now and then, as the cold gets so very, very dry.

Jet wandered about happily, picking up bark, broken rocks, and everything else and then dumping them all for something else. It was 70 out, today, it broke a record for the high in the area, and when we went out it was warm enough. But then the sun went down, and the temperatures immediately dropped. Jet, however, was completely involved in what he was doing. I finally had to just pick him up and take him inside. He protested until we got into the warmth, and then he asked for another oatmeal-raisin cookie, so I gave it to him. He then pulled me over to the TV and said, "Help! Help! Help!" and pulled down on my hand.

So I sat down, and he sat in my lap and we watched Jackie Chan Adventures together and he danced at all the good music parts and I hugged him a lot. He won't want snuggles or hugs forever. So I enjoyed holding him, dancing with him, and sharing some time with him.

Then I got started on dinner. I de-backed and split four leg-thigh quarters, sprinkled them with nothing but Penzey's Southwest Seasoning, and then threw them on a baking sheet and let them roast at 350 for 45 minutes. With about fifteen minutes left I made Stove Top Chicken flavored stuffing, and then at five minutes, John served up salad and nuked some broccoli. Jet got rice and beans and he ate a good deal of that before coming over and stealing chicken legs from John and I. It was pretty spicy. Every once in while, Jet would look at his chicken leg and go, "Owie." and then go back to eating it. Hee. But he actually ate some chicken, straight, which is a first.

I was glad of that.

I then headed off to swimming. Now John's putting Jet down. Last night was bad, but one of the times when I got up to take care of Jet, he was completely soaked with sweat and he was drooling and chewing a lot today, too. So he's probably working on a molar. So painkillers for tonight.

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