Yesterday Peeper graduated from her first swim class.
Ok, maybe “graduated” is too fancy a word. But her first swimming lessons ended, and she got a certificate, so that counts, right?
Peeper squeals and bucks her whole body in excitement when we put on her swim diaper and when we walk up to the local Y. She knows what’s going on.
Her joy overflows the minute she sticks her toes in the water. She must remember the version of “If You’re Happy and You Know It” that we sing in class—the part that says “If you’re happy and you know it splash your hands”—because she slaps water from the beginning of class to the end.
“She’s like one of those wind up toys,” her teacher told me the last day of class. “You know, the ones that you wind up, set in the water and watch as they swim away?”
Yep, that’s her.
Not that I’m surprised. All four of us kids were nicknamed water weasels because we took to the water so well. When I was born, my family lived on a lake in South Dakota. Although we moved away before I could form any clear memories of it, summer days were spent down at the dock from sunrise to sundown.
Once we moved to Oregon, we quickly adopted the local kayak culture.
I was probably 7 or 8 for my first time solo in an inflatable kayak. The cold and rainy weather was a harbinger of the fiasco to come. I accidentally steered my IK to the bank and got stuck in some trees. Crying, I wanted to abandon the trip and tried to climb onto shore.
“Don’t get out of the boat!” my dad shouted from his own IK, as it would have floated downstream.
Thankfully, I overcame that terrible start and spent years kayaking the rivers of Oregon, Washington, Idaho and Colorado.
My dad jokes about getting Peeper into a tiny kayak and starting her rolling lessons. Her first whitewater river trip is still a few years away, but she’s living up to her water weasel heritage.