Pride goeth before my fall

Sunday, January 22, 2006

And now, in the dead of winter, I give you a summer story.

We live on a lake. A lovely, pristine lake. One of the reasons I have stayed here in this small cottage for eleven years has been for the love of this lake.

Long before we had a child, I adored laying about in the lake. I would go out, tether my inner tube to a rock and lay there reading trashy novels. I am soothed by water.

My husband, a child of inner city Detroit, does not hold the same affection for the water. He views the lake as a "workout" opportunity. He swims, when he deigns to come to the water, with purpose. He does not relax in the water.

When pregnant, I swam twice a week. I was wildly proud of my swimming class. Truth be told, we were a bunch of heavily pregnant women floating in 85 degree water and doing very low impact activity. The joy in this activity was in the weightlessness of my belly. Emily would grow very still and quiet when I swam. I suspect she was a bit startled that I was flipping and flopping around at such unusual angles. I swam the day before I gave birth.

I was eager to get Emily into the water after she was born. Having a May birthday, I thought this gave me a lovely opportunity to introduce her to the lake when the warmth of July hit us full force. My plan, however, was not Emily's plan during the first year. She screamed like a banshee every time I touched her foot to the water.

This has changed. She is a water baby and an incredible swimmer. At seven, she is confident and comfortable in the water. I float on my noodles and she flips around me like a playful otter.

This August, I decided to show her a few of Mom's water abilities. In my day, I had some skillz.

I started with the underwater handstand. Hands down, legs up, legs straight and together and down.


Emily and the neighbor boy were duly impressed. "Do it again, Mom" said Emily, with a voice full of impressed awe.

I did. I added variations to the additional accolades of the neighbor boy and Emily.

I was feeling good. I was 35 and still able to pull off some water acrobatics.

There was a split second when I searched my mind for any other impressive water tricks I could pull out for this admiring audience. Ahhh, I thought, I 've got one.

Me: "Wanna see my back flip?"

Fatal words, friends, fatal words.

With the admiring stares of these two children, I prepared myself for my piece de resistance.

I raised my arms, and made a big show of centering myself. Then I pushed off and flung myself backwards.

A split second before my face hit the sand, I realized that this was a critical oversight on my part. I was dealing with a whole different body mass than the last documented time I had performed this particular stunt. I had sizable developments in the breast area with which to contend.

Time slowed as my face grated through the sand and my brain connected with the searing pain coursing through my face.

I emerged from the lake bottom, to the stunned faces of my previously enthusiastic audience.

Sand had parted my hair. I was bleeding from one side of my nose. The other side was completely impacted with sand. I had sand in my mouth, that I was sputtering out as I came up.

But the crowning glory of this scene was my bathing suit top. It had completely FILLED with sand and was hanging down to my belly, exposing about 96% of my sand covered bosom to the crowd.

It took me a few seconds to realize that I was showing the neighbor boy far more than he had bargained on seeing. I then dropped to my neck in the water, began dancing around trying to stuff the "girls" back into their LL Bean top, shake out the accumulated sand from my suit and blow the core of sand that had developed in my left nostril.

The two children were completely silent. My boobs had rendered them speechless, and not in a good way.

A few minutes later, the boy says, "It's a little shallow here to do that, don't you think?"

Yes sir, thanks for the heads up. Now I will retreat to my Meme coverup and go sit on the side of the water like people my age should. Lesson learned. There is a time to retire the backflip.

19 Baleful Regards:

Anonymous said...

Nooooo, It would be a shame for you to retire the flip. Just find the proper water depth for the trick!

Anonymous said...

Heh heh heh. I can almost picture those kids' faces as you came up from the water, and you slinking away to cover back up once you'd reconstituted yourself.

But I'm with Jen -- no need to retire the backflip, just find yourself some deeper water next time. And practice sans audience first. ;-)

Table4Five said...

"My boobs had rendered them speechless, and not in a good way."

HAhahaha! That is the funniest thing I've read all day, no offense to your boobs or anything.

Also, how lucky are you to live on a lake? The closest "swimming hole" to me is a former gravel pit filled with water. It is murky and slimy yet people flock to it each summer. Yes, I live in the Great Lakes State, but I don't swim in them.

Anonymous said...

No more into the breach you'll go...

sweatpantsmom said...

I'll bet that boy never forgets that day on the lake, Mrs. Robinson.

Lisa said...

Oy! Thanks for the story. It is nice to know things like that happen to others too. (Because shit like that ALWAYS happens to me.)

Sugarmama said...

Ha! Great story! I always sucked at backflips so I'm impressed that you could do one at any point in the past at all. I'll bet you can still do them, but yes, practice on the sly first. In a 1-piece, perhaps...

Anonymous said...

Oh to live on the water. How wonderful, well except for flashing the neighbor boy and scraping your face. Thanks for the vivid descriptions, I can picture the whole thing. ;o)

Diana said...

I can't do a backflip in the water for the life of me. It always ends up looking like I'm doing a backwards belly flop of some sort. (Don't ask).
Neighbor boy will porbably be thinking of you in the early years of puberty, since yours were probably the first boobs he's seen that weren't his momma's. hehehe

Anonymous said...

You know the old saying, "Flash 'em if you got 'em".

Fraulein N said...

Oh, no. I just want you know that I am totally not laughing at that. Because that would be wrong.

mamatulip said...


Mama D said...

I am sure I will have to resist the temptation to show off my what will likely be 'former' TaeKwon Do skills to my girl and her pals. I am a self proffesed show off and reading your story made me shudder and think better of performing some sort of kick I once broke many board with and fall flat on my arse. Thank you for your wisdom having gone before me.

Anonymous said...

Ha ha ha ha ha! That's CLASSIC. I wonder if those were his "first boobs."

Oh, my side hurts. Thank you, Dawn.

Kristen said...

Oh man - this made my day. Hilarious.

Julie Marsh said...

I don't think I've done a backflip since the summer day when I was 13 and did a backdive off the board at our pool and the force of impact skimmed the top of my suit all the way down to my waist in front of a whole group of college-age guys. Utterly humiliating.

That little guy's response was classic though - "a little shallow" indeed.

Anonymous said...

Ok, I just peed my underpants reading this. Now, I've had four kids but still, funny, funny stuff. Just found your blog. I'm sure I'll read all of the archives in the next day or so. I think you and I are alike in our senses of humour. Thanks for blogging.

Anonymous said...


I just wanted to let you know that this post is up at the Silicon Valley Moms Blog Carnival TODAY!

Thanks you so much for contributing!

Jill Asher
Co-Founder, Silicon Valley Moms Blog

Anonymous said...

Oh, My! I don't want to repeat any of the other comments, but I tell you. Great story! I can't wait for the discussions at school on this one. Thanks for sharing and don't retire the backflip! Too many memories!

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