My parents undertook an arduous task when they determined they craved children. Five exhausting, persistent years later, I was born. I arrived two months early, weighing in at 4lbs 13ounces, anxious to encounter this thing called life. My brother chased me seventeen months later, and another pregnancy transpired seventeen months following Trent ’s birth. My parents employed a nanny to oversee us troublesome bundles.
One day she had a gynecologist appointment but suggested Nanny transport us to the lake. Neither of us could swim, we were under the age of three, but regardless, The Lake = a fabulously fun excursion. In this time before MapQuest and online directions, crazy multi-tasking and cell phones, my mom struggled describing driving instructions. Swollen belly, she resolved upon driving us herself. We tumbled into the van embracing the day and bread with which to feed the ducks.
Immediately upon arrival, I rocketed out of the van and scampered to the pier with bread. I tore it into pieces and flung bits into the water. The ducks swarmed. My mom, brother, and nanny unloaded and approached the pier.
“Ducky, ducky, oooh big ducky,” my three-year-old self proclaimed as a swan hammered through ducks, attaining close proximity to me, Rations Officer. I plucked some bread and leaned over to graciously offer it to the white beast of the water. Ducky’s calm, fair brilliance summoned me like shiny substances beckon birds. Feathers glistened, sun reflecting off dripping water beads. I wanted to sink my fingers into Duckie’s luminosity. A bit overzealous, I shrieked, “Ducky!” and bent too far, designing to stroke Ducky’s white quills. Ducks scattered and feathers exploded as my three-year-old self plunged head-first into the lake. I collided with the water’s surface and sank. Seconds later the water trembled as a body hurled into the lake, the liquid pulsating. Demanding arms wrapped around my body and dragged me to the surface. My mom held me close and then propelled me onto the wooden pier and into Nanny’s arms. She then attempted to elevate herself onto the pier, her six-months-pregnant stomach proving an impediment. Her extended arms strove to haul herself up. She grasped, she gasped, and she heaved. She eventually swam around to the lake’s bank and walked up onto land.
My mom’s doctor had ordered her to remain on full bed rest until the baby was born. At that time, she was on strict orders to lie down. Instead, she was throwing herself in lakes, swimming, and saving children.