You may think it’s a little early for the first creek swim, or even a little too cold. I can assure you, no one agrees more than I. However, I was young once, and I still remember the anticipation, the pure longing to jump into those icy waters for the first time every spring. I may have outgrown the desire to submerge my body in 40 degree water at the first sign of sunshine, the first bead of sweat on my brow, but I haven’t forgotten what that longing felt like.
I have, however, turned into a 40-something with aches, pains, and a bladder that has a mind of its very own. Watching Coach ready Big Creek for the first creek swim of the year had me wondering where my youth has gone, my vibrant, dare-devil personality? I used to be the first one in the water every year, before my sister and brothers, before the dogs, even! Now I sit by the bank and shudder at the thought of even my big toe touching the surface until at least mid-June, or even July if we have a mild start to summer!
Hearing the splash of the peddle boat as Coach navigates his way around, dragging out brush and limbs that have collected in our swimming hole all winter, makes me have to fight the urge to run up to the house and tinkle. I guess all of that excitement and determination to make the most of swimming season has been somehow telepathically transferred to my children.
This is not to say the girls jumped in with wild abandon the second Coach declared the water safe to enter. Oh, no, there’s always at least 20 minutes of psyching themselves up, a good 15 false starts before jumping in for that first creek swim. There’s apprehension there, but determination always wins out. And, at least they can still hold their bladders. I hope they appreciate that ability while it lasts.
Living by the creek is such a blessing. We’ve already spent hours and hours sitting by the bank on the weekends, cleaning up the landscaping, making repairs and planting. Coach has dunked countless worms, and caught (and released) numerous Red-Eye Bass, Bluegill, Sun Perch, and even a few Catfish.
We’ve sat and played by the water when it was still way too cold to even consider getting wet, but that hasn’t stopped Pooh and Tigger from asking, “when can we go swimming?”.
I’ve told them a hundred times that the first creek swim was a long way off, yet, which is always met with groans and “But Mamaaaa!“‘s
The First Creek Swim
Coach finally got tired of hearing them beg and told them they could have their first creek swim on May 1st, as long is the water was calm enough (the current gets pretty swift after big rains). Tigger has reminded us 12 times that he said it, and had no intention of letting May Day get by without a dip in the cold, cold waters of Big Creek. The day turned out overcast, but plenty warm. I never thought they’d take the plunge (bad pun), but I was sorely mistaken!
I sat there with them, watching and waiting, my camera ready. I couldn’t miss the first creek swim! It’s one of my favorite days of the year, right? It’s like Christmas in May! Although somehow, just like Christmas, the joy has transformed from being my own heady, exhilarating experience into being an immense joy of watching my kids have the time of their lives.
I snapped my pictures, laughed at their shivering, blue lips, then promptly marched up the hill to relieve myself. Then I took a nap.
Damn, I miss my youth.