My dad’s way



Health warning: this post is for me. A response to this group this week. Not angry. Not preaching. Not me being right. This one is because I need to be me. And this group has saved me, but right now the fear here is sinking me again. I know I can swim. I need to see my words here right now saying I can. I don’t want to sink again.

One of six children our dad spent years with one hand beneath our scared stomachs teaching us to swim.  I have no idea how many hours that was.  Guessing it would have added up to days, weeks, maybe at least twelve weeks keeping us safe while we found out for ourselves how to be safe.

Remembering that memory, the memory of my “first swimming” also floods my brain and body.  An exquisite mix of terror and elation.  Terror of death by drowning.  Elation that I was not only alive but making myself safe.  I was swimming and with my head above water!  I could actually be in water and with my feet off the bottom and in water deeper than the top of my head and not drown by water OR terror!

Let the fun begin! 🏊‍♀️🏊‍♂️🏊‍♀️🏊‍♂️🏊‍♀️🏊‍♂️

I thank my dad for knowing what none of us knew with his hand under our scared stomachs.  Swimming only works when I believe I can.  He never “taught me to swim”.  He allowed me the time to find that out for myself.  He gave me time to believe I could swim.  Allowed me to relax bit by bit and find that out.  For myself.  There is a saying “sink or swim”.  There is another way.

My dad’s way.

Yet so many words here, especially this week, about this Big News reminds me only of “sink or swim”.  That there is only “either or” – death by no-shielding or death by terror.  There is another way.  A way that invites me to think of this shielding as my dad’s hand under my scared stomach.  But also has the terrifying unasked question:

What am I going to do when that hand is removed?

>>> The video below?  Kept this one to myself. It’s my “first swimming” in week ten.  Really important for me this video clip.  It reminds me that whatever this week brings … I don’t need “that hand” under my stomach.  That I never really did.  I just needed time to believe I can.  In my case ten weeks.  And I did and I can again whenever I want.

I love this group but you frighten me.

I feel such fear.  I feel this fear begin to infect me again.  A growing anger that makes me begin to doubt myself.  Making me begin to need that hand under my stomach again.  Making me begin to believe I can’t again.  This video clip tells me that I can.  Tells me I did.  That I always could.  That I always can.  It’s very “amateur” probably best kept to myself look is because it was that “first swimming”.  I wasn’t instagramming – no facebooking in mind – no thinking about my best side or what’s in the background or how I sound …

This is me believing in me.

I will not live in fear again.  But keeping strong with all your fear … in post after post after post this week … ?

Your fear is what I fear the most right now.

There is another way.




17 thoughts on “My dad’s way

  1. I didn’t realise until I read this post that Dad didn’t teach us to swim. You’re right he gave us time and space to find our self-confidence in the water. And none of us drowned 👍. Proud of how you’re learning to swim in these uncharted waters where the fear is very real. Just remember there is still a strong hand underneath you, even when you can’t see it. xx

    Liked by 2 people

    • Morning Annie – what a lovely bunch of words – thank you. We all need to know that strong hand is there. Coming to the conclusion we are all that strong hand if we allow. Know you are! xxx

      Liked by 2 people

      • Good afternoon from sunny Australia, we are now in stage 2 lockdown and the government in NSW has just reintroduced stage 1 water restrictions. While we have plenty of rain not enough is reaching the catchment area. Ergo I shall either need to get up before dawn or water before dinner.
        10 people may come to a wedding and 30 to a funeral
        I went to a government facility on Wednesday to reclaim my ID after my wallet was stolen and a lovely young woman met me at the door, as I stood on my green line – sanitized me and directed me to the appropriate queue.
        Next week I will have my photograph attached to the card and will be me again. When I went to the bank the only facial ID I had was my Google account photo – ha ha. Cards all blocked except the eftpos one and $3.00 wallet in my pocket until I find a leather one that fits.
        Shopping today – follow the green striped aisles

        Liked by 1 person

        • Hiya Andrew – We have just gone from “Level 4” to “Level 3”. And the rules keep on a-changing! Glad you are having your incident sorted out. It’s such a faff when that happens – I am guessing you are safe and healthy? Hope you have/had fin with the shopping. It was never my favourite pastime! 🙂

          Liked by 1 person

          • Fun!! They call it that? Actually, pretty good, my wife’s Aged Care Package provides a car.
            Like you we are seeking the disinfectant based hand wash which has disappeared from the shelves. We have the chemicals and if it comes to it can make some. Waiting for Midsommer murders to come on. The umpteenth time but we both love it.

            Liked by 1 person

          • O, Yes sort of well. I have been in A and E three times during the past 3 months,twice in the last two weeks. My insides are not doing well.
            Mrs A has a procedure in the clinic that sticks cameras into various orifices,on 30th, they are giving her a complete anaesthetic. It sounds serious. Then a torn retinar and vitreous humour to fix,it is her good eye so pray it gets better rather than worse. She must lie on her face for 6 weeks??? How to manage that.

            Liked by 1 person

          • There’s been 18 more cases in Victoria and they ate reputedly closing their borders. Only 96 deaths here,- I presume in Nsw. The highest covid-19 infection rate is among the 19ish to 30ish.


          • there has been a spike in Victoria and NSW , possibly another in South Australia and all the state boarders are closed. they are considering what they can do to save us returning to stage 1 where there is 2 hours exercise, you can shop or visit the doctors but otherwise remain indoors. They say business won’t stand it again.
            The unemployment benefit is being supplimented to the level greater than the Aged Penison and anyone who loses hours get a subsidy. Businessess receive a payment for retaining workers.

            Liked by 1 person

            • My own view is that we will see these local spikes across the world for a long time yet. Not sure that any government has the resources to support its populations that long.

              Liked by 1 person

            • You’re quite right. Heard immunity is really needed which means more exposure to each other, just as the cattle. Initially More infection rate, eventually a watering down. It’s here to stay for quite some time. Until the vaccine is discoverers.


            • Things have hotted up here in the madness to resume clubbing and dinners out. All boarders are monitored with a 14 day quarantine everytime one moves interstate for holiday,some people work in adjacent states and that has been interesting. They are testing on the road just like drunk driving.


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