Sunday, July 31, 2005

Vicarious Swimming and Skiing

My son En-Uk prefers catching frogs and minnows to learning how to swim.

We were spending one night and a day for some swimming and skiing on the North Han River, where I discovered that my daughter loves to swim and ski but that:

1. My son has no desire to learn to swim.

2. I have no desire to learn to ski.

I had wanted to ski. I've long considered it an unfinished business and had intended to waterski at least once in my life.

Why? Because even though I grew up near Norfork Lake in the Ozarks, I was too poor for the lifestyle that included skiing.

But I thought, "Someday . . ."

I did have one chance when I was about 23. The boat pulling me, however, lacked the horsepower (seahorsepower?) to get me up out of the water. Yesterday, I had my chance to rectify this failure, but I failed this time. I guess that it's my age, for the North Han River was too cold on my old bones. I couldn't catch my breath, so I gave up soon after entering the water.

I even decided to give up the idea entirely and live vicariously through my children. My eight-year-old daughter, Sa-Rah, took to the water and the skiing -- but wasn't big enough for real skiing and had to be satisfied with halfway steps such as holding onto a pole fixed horizontally from the side of the training boat as it skimmed along on the water. Sa-Rah wanted to learn more but will have to wait until she grows a bit.

My wife and I heard some rather loudly expressed dissatisfaction from her about that. Our fault for not having reproduced a few years earlier . . .

En-Uk, on the other hand, had no wish to ski . . . and little desire to swim. At first, he tried the water near the dock but wouldn't go further. To encourage him, my wife got into the water and took him out further against his will. Wrong move. En-Uk screamed to return, and someone had to toss a lifepreserver out to haul him and Sun-Ae quickly back to dock.

En-Uk then spent the entire Saturday collecting bottles for rescuing minnows and tiny frogs from life's dangerous waters, and I spent the whole day watching him do this.


At 6:41 AM, Blogger Sapphire Eagle © said...

What a wonderful mind and style you have ... really sets you apart!

enjoyed your musings!

At 8:34 AM, Blogger Horace Jeffery Hodges said...

Thanks, Xsapph, for the kind words. I try to be more interesting on my blog than I am in the offline world.

Jeffery Hodges

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