There is a lot of fun involved when you club your activities with children. We learn a lot from our own children as we try to impart our limited knowledge to them. But there is one thing children teach us which we find difficult to learn, and that is being fearless. And that is just one of the lessons we got in our recent swimming escapades which also in the process revealed a lot to us about ourselves.
I am a regular here at the plunge bath in our campus, in the place we live. And I look forward to enjoying the therapeutic effects of swimming in the bluish green waters as it relieves me of all stress and anxieties. (am least bothered at how my skin has tanned). And then, with my almost three year old son, the experience of teaching him to swim gets all the more challenging. Considering that my son enjoys in the pool, I did not face much challenge in getting him to wear his arm floats and helping him paddle his feet. But being a toddler, he easily gets bored and distracted and I always have to search for something to keep him motivated to swim. Such as leaves that fall off from the trees nearby or maybe, some flower carpals that float in the water are enough to keep my son in the pool as he swims to catch them. So the saga continued for days until three close friends also ‘pooled’ in with their children, one 2.5 years old and the other 1.5 years old. And today, as we swam midst the incredibly increasing decibels of hollering, crying, squealing and whimpering of the three pranksters of ascending age groups, my son suddenly called out to me. “Mammmma….mammma….. see there is a frog!”
For a second there, I almost believed it to be some toy as the frog was still as a stone until it opened its mouth and breathed. All of us freaked out with one of us even having encountered the slimy creature jump over her feet, which she had at that instant, shrugged it off as some leaf. The pool man came and removed it with a huge net. Not forgetting to mention, the children were the most ecstatic with my son super annoyed later at the fact, that the frog had been caught. That instant however changed a lot about the perceptions of an adult and a child. We for one, were still feeling awkward accepting that we actually swam in the pool that had a frog. However, our children were the happiest. They had shed all fears of drowning and were suddenly more interested in searching for more frogs, if any. And boy, children do have an eye for detail for the things they search with all their soul. Four more frogs were ‘rescued’ in the intense search operation that happened, lest they get trampled under the feet of us noisy adults. The pool man later explained that the change in weather from the bright sunny to cloudy and rainy had got these creatures out from the dense foliage nearby. However, nothing deterred us from swimming the laps as we practiced for long. I got more time to swim and try the strokes I did with ease in my childhood. Two of us quickly learned the basics and practiced for a long time until the strong pull of hydrophobia waned. And, the children were having a ball of a time in the pool, learning to swim, all by themselves. Fears had left us and the pool.
Every experience gives a perspective. This was one that just made us look at things differently through the eyes of a child. The children were initially scared to get in the water and we were initially scared of the uninvited amphibians. But both, learned from each other about shedding the irrational fears that clung to us. One of us joked, “May be these guys are checking us out! Eh?” Perspective eh!
The image below sums up what I have in mind right now…..
For people with those ‘YIKES’ expression can keep their fears limited to themselves.
For people who think we are mad, u bet! We are crazier than the craziest and we love to be that way!
For people who think we are uncouth, let me assure you, we are all well equipped with anti-fungal creams and powders at home, lest you think about the frogs and their sliminess! Also, chlorine itself is a form of disinfectant.
And finally, for people who think we are adventurous, bang on! Join the club!
And then, we swam with the frogs……of course, searching for them to be rescued!!