Christmas swimmingThursday, December 10, 2015
Christmas at my grandparents was the best. Not only because they spoiled us with a ridiculous number of gifts (Cabbage Patch Kids! Gund dogs named Muttsy!) and not just because my nana put out unlimited almond bark for me, or because there were sweet potatoes with broiled marshmallows on top or because there were trays of bacon wrapped water chestnuts. It was the best, not just because we were allowed to put on all of my grandmother's rings my grandfather made for her, and look at all of her lipsticks in their decorative cases in the bathroom, or because I'd get to blow out birthday candles with my mom and dad and cousin, and ride the elevator, and call up from the intercom, and listen to the police scanner, and stand on the balcony, but because we got to swim.
Their apartment building had a pool in the basement, and the weekend before Christmas, we would pack our bathing suits and goggles along with a trunk full of gifts. The only other time we swam all together was at the cottage, but by then the lake was frozen over, and swimming altogether was a distant memory, but every December, we would do a conga line in the shallow end, practice handstands and show off our somersaults.
My grandparents didn't know how to swim, but they loved that we did and we would open presents smelling like chlorine. Our hair would be crispy and tangled, and everything about it was perfect.