Letter to my grandson (xxvi)

I have missed a couple of your Sunday morning swimming lessons because I have been going to bowling.  I felt bad about it but I keep telling myself I do need to have a life.

Last Sunday, I came to swimming lessons again. You are still the swimming instructor’s favourite pupil. The one he chooses to show the other kids how to do things. This time it was how to run along the big rubber mat and dive off the end.  What a role model you are!

After swimming lessons over,  you, your dad and I were swimming in the toddlers’ pool next to the three-year lesson which was going on next to us. You were keen to join in and when the class got out of the toddlers’ pool and went through to the main pool, you seized your opportunity.  He jumped out of the pool and shot through to the main pool to join the class. You would just a bit too quick for your dad and much too quick for me.

The class was lined up by the side of the pool with a big mat that you had been demonstrating running and jumping off. The only difference was that they were doing it in the big pool into 5 feet of water.

All the kids were huddled around the mat  huddling and hesitating before jump into the pool.  Well, you knew how to do this. You ran straight through the huddle, onto the mat and dived into the pool.

I know your dad will tell you about the this famous incident. In the 1988 Grand Final between Hawthorn  and  Essendon at Waverley Park, Dermott Brereton ran through the three quarter time Essendon huddle much to the surprise of the Bomber players.

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Fortunately, the instructor, Mel, saw you coming and caught you as you surfaced.  I think you were a bit surprised by how cold water was because you ran back to the toddlers’ pool  and jumped straight back in again without waiting for anybody. You grow in confidence every day.

Yesterday, your dad and I took you to the Melbourne Aquatic centre which has a wave pool, numerous fountains and waterslide. You caught your first wave on your surfboard in the wave pool. Your dad was standing waist deep in the water with you hanging onto your surf board and he launched you onto the wave as it came past. I remember doing this with Nick when he was a bit older than you and in slightly bigger waves at a beach.  I don’t remember him being very happy with the experience.

When the ride was over, you grabbed your surfboard and came charging back into the water for another ride. What else should I have expected?

One of the pools has a series of  intermittent water spouts that come out of the ground and form a wall of water about 2 m tall.  As you approach it, the water comes crashing down in your head  but you keep going and water erupted underneath your feet and then as you came out the other side crash down on your head again. I was waiting on the other side, you grinned and I gave you little hug. You turned around and headed back through the water wall to your dad.  You do this several times shrieking with delight and then something amazing happened. You approached shrieking with delight and the water suddenly stopped. Hope you don’t think you’ve got superpowers.

The highlight of the day was the waterslide.

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Now this isn’t a giant waterslide, but by a two year old’s standards it’s a pretty serious waterslide. Anyhow, your dad decided the two of you should have a crack.  I must admit, I have some misgivings.

The two of you came out of the tunnel into the small pool at the end.  You had a look of surprise and amazement on your face. Your dad stood up, holding you.

You only had one word to say, “More!”

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