I was probably about 9 or 10, the beginning of summer .. Memorial day weekend … and an annual family re union at Lush Meadows Lake … my family:step father, mother, sister & me
Mom’s sister (I’m named after her) her husband and 5 children and any foster kids they had
My mom’s brother, his wife and 3 children.
My mom’s mother who bought property at the lake giving us membership privileges. We’d also go to her lot to go sledding in the winter.
School would resume after Memorial day, until about mid june, but it was still what everyone considered the ‘beginning’ of summer.
One rule we had was: if you couldn’t swim across the lake, you had to have an adult with you to swim and you could only swim in the swimming area. (and NEVER swim alone but if you and a sibling or cousin both passed the test you could swim at any time anywhere)
every year we’d start off at the ‘pier’ (a jut of land that we fished from) and take off with my mom or my aunt. Every year we’d get a short ways out and have to swim back (or worse, drug back by the adult) but every year, they let us try. My sister, the athelete of us all .. couldn’t swim that well and usually made it about half the length of any of the rest of us, even the littlest. (I don’t think that even at 16 she could swim acrossed it)
This year, when I was 9 or 10, it was particularly hot. My cousin that was my age and I were determined we were going to have open lake privileges and even more determined to beat our older siblings to it. We got the normal speech about safety and that it’s a great privilege but it’s not worth risking our necks to gain … and we took off with my mom. About half way through the lake, mom let out a WHOOP! we had no idea we’d made it that far! My aunt ran around the lake and jumped in from the other side just in case someone had to help.
She met us when we had about 1/3 of the way left …by then the entire clan had come around and they were cheering us like we were olympic swimmers (and we were beginning to feel like we were!!). The exceptions were my older sister and T’s older brother, N. The older sibs did not like being out done by their youngers!
About 15 feet left to go and my dad and my uncle jumped in to swim with us (which was remarkable and the only time I EVER remember either of them swimming!!!) .. we finished and climbed out of the lake. I suppose we should have been tired but we were far too excited! WE had OPEN LAKE PRIVILEGES!!!
I can clearly remember the moment I looked up to see everyone cheering me on … and feeling coming over me that “I CAN DO THIS” it was a moment unmatched … till recently.
I saw that 90 hours on my transcript and student ranking of “Senior” and read the emails and FB remarks and twitter remarks over my end of semester’s A’s … and realized
I CAN DO THIS!!! I WILL be a therapist some day!