Friday, January 11, 2008

Swimming and Signing My Saturdays Away . . .

As part of my continued commitment to making 2008 the Year of Happiness - Joy, Ava and I will be starting two new adventures tomorrow morning including another first scratch at one of my life-long itches.

FIRST - At 8:30 tomorrow morning, Ava and I will be in the pool at the YMCA for our first Saturday morning swim around of the New Year. Ava and I have only been swimming together three or four times to date (and we will likely take a formal set of swimming lessons soon enough) but I am very excited to incorporate a weekly swim in to our schedules. I remember swimming ALL THE TIME as a kid. I would be at Sykes Park in the morning for swim lessons - in the pool from 1:00 - 4:00 every afternoon and then 6:00 - 8:30 every night. No exceptions (okay - thunderstorms would keep me from the pool) and I didn't realize it then but, in hind sight, it was the only way for a fat kid to beat the heat AND feel like I was fully flexible and mobile and "lithe". I hadn't swam in many, many years (as my legs got fatter and fatter and my body more and more bulbous and ugly) but I dusted off the trunks two summers ago to swim in Mom and Dad Terry's pool while we waited for Ava to be born and again last summer after my surgery when we went floating with Uncle Larry and Aunt Joyce. I'm very excited to get back in the pool and to make swimming a regular part of my excercise routine and some of the time I spend with my Gracie too!
THEN - Joy, Ava and I will be starting "family sign language" on Saturday morning too. While billed as a way to better communicate with your young child (so far Ava knows how to say "Yes", "No", "Bye-Bye", "Hi", "Mama", "Dada", "Nana" (Grandma Terry's nickname) and "oof-oof" (dog)) but, for me, it is another one of those things I always wanted to do - to know how to sign. When I was living in Washington, DC I would frequently go to Dupont Circle for bar hopping, tea sipping, dinner eating and shopping and there were always students from Galudet University out in groups - just signing away with each other. I think it was my general insecurities but I was always POSITIVE they were talking about me and my friends and making fun of us (crazy, I know) and I wanted so badly to be able to sign so I could just "know". I also have always found it amazing that the lack of hearing could easily remove people from socialization and from having a "normal" life (very much like being obese) but thanks to the wise people who figured out how to make words with their hands and the wise people who can love and accept and befriend a fat person - we can all have a little more "normalcy" in our lives to offset what makes us "different." Anywho, tomomrrow morning we learn to sign and while they will probably only teach us "wet diaper", "more food", "where is my favorite stuffed dog from Uncle Patrick and Aunt Joyell" and "why can't you just get out of the king sized bed that you two are supposed to share so I have more room to spread out despite having my own crib down the hall where I start out sleeping each night but can't seem to finish the night there, mommy and daddy?" I am ALL but sure that I will somehow learn enough that, by my next trip to Dupont Circle, I am able to know that the students at the next table aren't talking about me . . . they are talking about how terrible the sandwiches they ordered are. We'll all feel better (smile).

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