My Little Fish
Since my daughter was a toddler (I love that word, it reminds me of how they walk when they’re that age) we have gone swimming every Saturday. This is our thing. You don’t choose it, it chooses you. I once went to a psychic at the Stampede, just for shits and giggles. She mentioned to me that water had some significance in my life and she kept on getting an image of a pool and asking me if we knew someone who had a pool. At the time I thought she was full of shit and said to her, “We don’t know anybody who has a pool.” she went on with the reading but kept coming back to this over and over, looking confused, like I should know what she was talking about. Well I walked away thinking it was a scam, and wishing I could get my twenty bucks back. Then as I was walking around the grounds eating my pizza on a stick and deep fried Oreos, it hit me like a blackjack dealer. It wasn’t someone’s pool, it was “The” pool, the one sammy and I go to every Saturday. Water is a huge part of my daughter and I’s relationship. From the motor boat ejection seat (spin her around in a circle and then launch her into the air), to the polar bear and the seal (she is the polar bear, I’m the seal), the whales mouth and No-One-Shall Pass (lazy river) and countless others. We literally spend hours there, just having fun. Also just as a weird side note, my name, Douglas actually means, deep dark water. I told you this story to make a point about the next one.
My daughter had her first swim meet yesterday, she did good. I was proud of her. But as I was crammed into the viewing area, I couldn’t help but overhear some of the parents talking with their kids. One dad was talking with his 6 year old telling her she had to try harder and that you are supposed to win, do better next time. The little girl just said “Sorry Daddy”. It broke my heart. I was just proud that my little girl was competing. The fact that she made the length of the pool is pretty impressive in itself. You think I would push her harder since we go swimming every weekend, but I don’t, Saturdays aren’t about practising, it’s about her and I. When she gets older she can get serious about winning and succeeding, but for now I think she is fine just being a kid, let her enjoy it. If she wants to become the next female Phelps, have at it, but I’m not going to put her on a high carb diet and book her into the gym every other day. Number one I’m too lazy, and number two she would end up hating me.
As cliché as it sounds, I miss the time with my Dad, playing catch, helping him change the oil on the Buick, listening to him play the guitar, playing hockey, these are the things he would do with me. So maybe my folks didn’t raise an NHL player, or a rocket scientist or a movie star, but they did raise me to be a great parent, just by being who they are. I realize now they weren’t trying to ruin my life, just looking out for my best interests.
So Sammy, my little fish, keep on fighting the fight, wherever your heart desires, just remember, whether you win or lose, you will always have me in your corner.