Inside the Mind of Isadora

Learning to Swim


Summer is freedom for a child. Your school vacation begins.

No more homework, no more tests, and no more uniforms. I attended

Catholic school, wearing shorts and t-shirts was a respite from formality.

My family lived in an area of three-story brownstones in Brooklyn, N.Y. Pools weren’t anywhere in my neighborhood. There was a pool within a twenty-five minute bus ride. We never went there.

Sunday was our beach day in the summer. My father loved the beach. 

Despite our no school discipline, he had a routine we had to follow.

We still attended mass on Saturday.

Sunday, we’d awake at 6:00 a.m., get dressed, grab our towels, pails, and shovels and be in the car at 7:00 a.m. It was an hour’s drive to Staten Island on a ferry. It was such fun to get out of the car and lean on the railing, feeling the ocean’s mist on my face. 

Once we arrived at the beach, we all had items to carry to the water’s edge. My father cooked potato salad and fried chicken the night before. He was a cook in the army. He enjoyed cooking on the weekends. I was learning how to cook from him at age 5. 

My task at the beach was to take care of my younger disabled brother. He was five years old, and I was ten. I’d collect shells with him and build things in the sand.

One Sunday, my father decided to teach all of us to swim. We watched him from the shore. He looked like a dolphin. I was apprehensive even though it looked like fun. It was my turn. He picked me up and took me way, way out. Eventually, he dropped me in the water. 

Gurgle, Gurgle, Gurgle,

I swallowed water, flailed my arms, and thought I would drown.

After an eternity, my father picked me back up and walked me to shore. I cried and cried and cried. I was inconsolable. I never went in the water again. The sandy seashore was my safe place from that day forward. 

I never did learn to swim, but I do doggie paddle in my pool. Many have tried to teach me, but my fear still lingers from that day. When my children could walk, I took them for swimming lessons. They’re all great swimmers, and one is Red Cross certified. I knew how much they would enjoy the beach, pool, and boating if they learned how to swim. 

Learning to Swim never happened for me.

2022©Isadora DeLaVega


Throw Back Thursday  April 14, 2022 # 34 – Learning to Swim

for info on how to join in this challenge 

click here

Author: Inside the Mind of Isadora

Intriguing, sensitive, mysterious, loving, artistic and crackling with excitement for life is a pretty good description of who I am. I just retired from the world of art where I sold my Artfully Designed Handmade Jewelry for 28 years; although, art will always be a part of who I am no matter what venue I choose to express it in.

21 thoughts on “Learning to Swim

  1. Opps..maybe you should swim and hang on to a float..LOL

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Sometimes, Isadora, things come naturally, other times they don’t. Looks like swimming for you is one of those other times. I manage with swimming, but don’t like my face getting wet 🙄 or going under water, so do it in my own style.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Ironically, hubby and I have been on 26 cruises and it never occured to me to worry about not being able to swim. 😄 I guess when it’s your time, it’s your time. My pool goes from 3 1/2 feet to 6 feet long. My daughter was trying to teach me on the 3 /1/2′ side. No luck … 😂 I’ll sit on a lounge chair with a cocktail instead. 😄

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Thank you for joining in. How sad that the experience caused so much trauma. The rest of your story was very lovely.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. If only Dad realised the ramifications of his actions. Not a good way to teach. A lovely story otherwise Isadora 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  5. That’s terrible. We look to our parents for security. I’m sorry that happened to you 😦

    Liked by 1 person

  6. A thoroughly enjoyable story, full of lovely memories, except for ‘your swimming’. I’ve always loved the beach, having being brought up near the beach…. Here in Australia, all children are taught to swim at school, it’s a part of the school curriculum ..

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Except for the swimming, these are such wonderful memories. Thanks for sharing them.


    Liked by 1 person

  8. Isadora, I am so glad you decided to join us in this weekly challenge. I never thwould would learn to swim either, but at 42, with the calmest and kindestt teacher, I managed to do it. It sounds like your dad was pretty special. 💕

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you for the lovely welcome, Maggie.
      I believe my father had good intentions in trying to teach his children to swim.
      But, he went about it in a wrong way. I believe we learn lessons from events in our lives.
      For me, it was knowing that my children needed swimming lessons from people who know how to teach.
      Happy Easter 🐣 have a good weekend … Isadora 😎

      Liked by 1 person

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