Now That’s Service

I have been attending the Life Time Fitness in Alpharetta for several months now. It’s a nice facility, like most of the Life Time places usually are. However, I’ve been disappointed in one thing: the hair dryers in the locker room. You might think this is being picky, but I pay a good price each month for such small things.

Every time I go to the gym, I shower there. And there is always 10-15 hair dryers available. So far, I’ve only found one… just ONE that works to what I believe is standard (blows enough air, maintains the temperature setting, etc.) Otherwise, you can spend all day in hopes of getting your hair dried.

I decided I’d had enough, and I needed to let someone know of my displeasure. I went to the website of corporate Life Time, and sent them an email. I figured I’d start there and see what happens. I did this last week.

This morning I had finished my shower and was about to search for the one hair dryer that works, when I was surprised at the newness of the first hair dryer I inspected. I turned it on, and it worked! I then looked down the long vanity, and saw that every hair dryer was brand new!!! It was simply wonderful to be able to use the hair dryer, and make some sense out of the madness that is my hair.

But I digress.

I stood holding a completely functional hair dryer and smiled and laughed. Another lady looked at me as if to say what’s so funny, and I recounted my story. She gave me a high five and said I should write another email asking for the temperature in the locker room to be adjusted. ūüôā

I realize my email was not the only one, and I alone am not responsible for the new hair dryers. What I do like is that the managers at Life Time Fitness listened and responded. That’s customer service and customer satisfaction.

Now, to start my campaign for some mats for the Akido program at Johns Creek’s Life Time Fitness!

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“May I have some more?”

Last month Eli was¬†recognized¬†as a “Wonderful Wildcat”. It is a designation bestowed upon students at Big Creek Elementary School for many different reasons. Eli earned the title for ¬†“exemplary behavior”.

As part of the recognition Eli was invited to have breakfast with the Principal Ms. Black.

Last night was an Aikido class, so I got home late yet in enough time to put Eli to bed, which is part of our daily bedtime ritual. ¬†I asked him about his breakfast to which he replied “Oh man. ¬†I forgot to go!” ¬†I asked him if anybody reminded him and he replied “No. Sir.” From there he distanced himself, shed a couple of tears and then said “Oh well, I guess I ¬†missed it.” He was very¬†disappointed¬†and upset.

I asked Kay and she said she had forgotten that today was the breakfast.  Kay sent an e-mail to the Principal of the school asking if there would be another breakfast in the future that Eli could attend since he missed this one.  Ms. Black responded almost immediatly (9:15pm at night) that of course Eli would be invited to the next Wonderful Wildcats.

I let Eli know that we had made the arrangements this morning and he was happy. ¬†Wait for it……..

May I have more?*

May I have more?*

Kay calls me this afternoon. Eli’s teacher wanted us to know that Eli attended the breakfast yesterday. He had biscuits and drink, got a chance to speak in front of all the other Wonderful Wildcats, and enjoyed himself. ¬†When pressed as to why Eli would lie to Kay and I about the breakfast his response was “I wanted to go again.”

Between Kay and I we cannot help but to laugh.  OK, done laughing.

The teacher told me he has written an apology to Kay and I.  After a short conversation Kay and I have agreed on the following punishments:

  • No¬†privileges¬†for the rest of the week (TV, electronic devices, computers, games, etc).
  • No “sweet” treats. Week nights this includes fruit or other non-processed sweet item, weekend means processed desert (cake, chocolate, etc). ¬†Yes, this is Easter weekend.
  • ….
  • I am leaving the above spot and this one open in case we need to pile more on.

Honestly, I am floored that I was so easily manipulated by my son.  He shed a tear! His voice contained genuine regret.

When Eli was a small child one of his preschool teachers told me she was going to watch this one.  She predicted he would be one of: actor, lawyer, sports star, politician, or mob boss. I think she may have been onto something there.

*The image used comes from http://ncrunnerdude.blogspot.com/2010/03/oatmeal-r.html.
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V-Day 2013

This morning Kay¬†asked¬†“Have you gotten me a Valentine’s Day card yet?”

My plan was to get a card today for her while out at lunch. (I am such a romantic.) Even then I know better than to fib about something as small as a card. ¬†“No babe, no card yet, I was going to get one at lunch.”

“Good, don’t, because I do not have one yet either and we are both to busy and have too much going on right now…” she replied with an ever so slight look of¬†relief¬†on her face.

—-

Approximately 20 years ago I worked as a TA for a computer science course at NC State. That Valentine’s Day I purchased a not-too-sweet, not-to-silly, very-glad-you-are-a-friend, card and put it in one of the other female TA’s cubby.

In walks said female TA grumbling to one of our other co-workers how much she disliked Valentine’s Day. ¬†“Stupid¬†Hallmark holiday. ¬†Waste of time…” ¬†Then she goes to her cubby, pulls out the card, and says “Awwwww.”

I have been married to that woman for over 15 years now. And I can say that that one Valentine’s Day card was the best Valentine’s Day card I have ever purchased. ¬†So today I am going to honor my wife’s wishes and not buy a card. ¬†But that does not mean I cannot share with the world (or at least the four other people that read this blog) how much I love and care for her.

Kay, I love you more today than I ever thought I could those 20 years ago when I gave you the first card. ¬† I cannot wait to see what the next 20 years of Valentine’s Days have to bring. ¬†While I may not always buy you a card, I will always love and respect you for who you are.

I Love You!
Happy Valentine’s Day!

Jay

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Under-ware!

This morning Eli decided that he was going to put on his pants before having put on underwear. ¬†When I asked him were his underpants were he replied “on the bed, are you blind?”

I have had a a stressful couple of weeks, this attitude did NOT go over well.  I like to think that I calmly corrected his attitude.  Regardless, I made it clear that I was not blind, that there were no underwear, and that he was starting the day off in the wrong fucking direction.

On goes underwear, on goes pants, on goes shirt, and socks, boy goes downstairs to be shod and breakfasted.

This extra time looking for underwear puts me a bit behind schedule, and I was so tired the night before that I did not pack my gym bag with cloths for the day.  Hurry, rush, move it, pack my bag, out the door, forgot my keys, out the door, damn where is my wallet, back out the door one last time.  Off to the gym.

Tim, Paul, and I finish an invigorating game of 2 vs 1 no-autopsy-no-foul “basketball/soccer/full contact ruby”. ¬†I get my shower, dry off, and grab my gym bag to get dressed.

No underwear.

 

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Living Art

Years ago, before I moved to Chicago, my sister had gotten a tattoo. I told her of my desire to get one, and she said she’d go with me, so off we went. I had a star put on my upper shoulder. It’s not anything amazing or even very pretty, but it’s a symbol of the change in my life at the time, and a bonding experience with my sister. So, I love it.

For years now I’ve mulled over my next tattoo. When I was in Raleigh I actually went to a place to have the NC State strutting Wolf tattooed on my back. However, I showed up too late to be able to get it done in time. I guess things work out for a reason.

I’m still not sure why I delayed this idea as long as I have, but I finally got the motivation to research my next tattoo. ¬†I had thought about something that represents my connection to the water, and my spirit, and I landed on a Sea Turtle. I took a nod from another tattoo I had seen and decided a tribal sea turtle would do the trick.

Once I had my idea and a few concept images from the web, I went to Inksomnia, a tattoo place located just outside of Johns Creek. I went in and was warmly welcomed. After looking through the portfolios of the artists, I decided to go with Dave Putnam, however, any of the artists there I would have used. Dave was in the shop and we met, and I showed him my concept drawings. He was very interested in not only the design, but why I was getting the tattoo, and my motivation. Then we got into the the art, and he came up with some great ideas about shading and colors. The more we talked the more he showed his excitement, and that in turn, spurred mine even more. I showed him that I also had an idea about working in Eli’s name into the design on the turtle’s shell. He was interested in this as well. So, Dave said he’d work up a drawing, and we could tweak it from there.

I returned a week later and Dave showed me his drawing. This is what he showed me:

I loved the drawing!!! I also love that if you rotate the image, you cannot at all see Eli’s name. So, we decided on a date, and went with it.

I showed up at about 4:30 on Friday afternoon, and it took Dave a few minutes to get everything ready in the room. While he did, I signed a release form and talked with some other folks about piercings. My gracious the things one can find to ram a piece of metal through. Now, that’s hard core… but I digress.

Before I knew it Dave had gotten the stencil and we put it on and discussed the location, the angle of the drawing and how it looked. He really was good in his approach and suggestions.

I got comfy on the chair and we got underway. Dave told me he’d start with some basic lines to work me in to the groove of getting a tattoo. I’m glad he did too. It’s easy to ease in to the pain than it is to just go full tilt. It also helps you set an expectation and how to handle it when it does get rough.

Believe me, it gets rough..

So, on we went. He had told me it would take about 1.5 hours to complete. So, I relaxed, and really got into the sound of the gun making it’s zipping noises and the feel of the pressure of having the tattoo. It could be odd to have a complete stranger touching ¬†your body, but Dave and I seemed to find a rapport with the comfort. We did have times we chatted, and there were times I was quiet. You know, through the whole process I think he only asked me a few times how I was doing, if I was ok.

We took a break about an hour or so into the tattooing. It was a good thing too, as I felt the need to get up, get some water, and basically get my blood moving again.  It was also good for Dave for all of the same reasons. I snapped the pic above during our break.

So, after the small break, we got back down to business. We finished up at right about 2 hours and 20 minutes. The final product is below:

I LOVE this way it turned out. This pic was right after it was done, and still has the redness around the edges. When we got done, Dave went over with me how to take care of it, and how it’s going to heal. If you’ve never had a tattoo, you’ll learn that about 4-5 days after, it gets really crusty. So, you have to be vigilant about keeping lotion on it. ¬†As we were getting done, I gave Dave a hug, and thanked him.

So, here’s the FAQ’s so far:

Did it hurt? Why yes, it does hurt, but it’s not anything that you can’t make it through. I think this has a lot to do with where the tattoo is going as well. Imagine a bad sun burn and someone dragging their finger nail through it repeatedly. I do know for sure that 2 hours of this is a plenty.

Will I do it again? Absolutely! In fact, I spoke to Dave about my next idea.

Why a sea turtle? It represents for me my nearness to the ocean and my spirit. Eli’s name… well, that’s sorta obvious.

What did Eli think? He saw it and said, “Can I watch another show on TV?” I think it was lost on him. That’s ok too. This wasn’t about him.

What did Jay think? He told me he likes it. I believe his exact words, “Damn baby!”

What have others said? I think my favorite comment so far has been, “That’s badass!”

Not so sure about how bad ass it is, but I have to admit that it’s empowering as hell to do something like this, survive and get a rush out of it.

I do not think I’ve done enough in applauding Dave. He was just fabulous. I cannot wait to use him again on my next tattoo.

 

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Diwali Conversation

Our work is having a Diwali celebration tomorrow. Basically, it’s like any celebration: coworkers are bring various dishes and we’re going to eat together.

Since I don’t know much about this holiday, I asked a co worker that celebrate Diwali to explain more about it to me. He gave me a very brief description of why it’s celebrated and how he and his family celebrate. To parapharase, it’s a celebration of good over evil, light over dark. I asked him if there was a color associated with this celebration. For Christians (and those that celebrate Christmas) we often associate red, green, gold and silver during our celebrations. My coworker then said, “no specific color, but light. Specifically the light of smiles on faces.” I thought this had to be the most beautiful phrase and description of light.

Needless to say I was moved, and found myself smiling so much more after hearing this. I also had to do some more reading, and found a great article on the topic.

It’s also very interesting to note that my coworker just happens to have a most enlightening and beautiful smile as well.

So, to those of you that celebrate, Shubh Diwali!!

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The First Day of Kindergarten

Eli started Kindergarten today. We’ve been building up to this his whole life thus far. However this is just one more “change” that has happened to him in the past three weeks. Here’s a brief recap of Eli’s past few weeks for those not aware:

  • July 17th – We sell our house. In saying goodbye, Eli has a major melt-down. He DOES NOT want to sell his house. Much drama, tears, and screaming.
  • July 17th – We move in with a dear friend, as the house we are purchasing does not close for 10 days.
  • July 17th – I leave for a five-day trip to Oregon. Eli is used to me being gone, but while not having a house, is a bit more stressful, and more work for Jay.
  • July 21st – Eli breaks his arm. In a drug-induced haze tells Jay, “I want to go to MY HOME.”
  • July 25th – We move into our new home, and Eli is sleeping on a temporary bed in his room. He’s also happy about having a basement and a “tornado room.”
  • Aug. 3rd – Last day of Summer Camp. He says good-bye to some friends he’s known a long time.

Needless to say, Eli’s had a lot going on, as have we. I hope that his going to kindergarten is the beginning of some normalcy, and much needed routine. However, we have to get going on it, and that in and of itself, is yet another new thing.

So, here we are. This morning we got up at 6am, and Eli was super excited and ready to get going. In fact, we were early, and had to mull around the house a bit. So, I snapped a few pics.

We were the first ones to the bus stop, and got there early – again, excitement ruled the day. I had heard rumors about the number of kids in our community, and that the three bus stops in our ‘hood filled the bus. They weren’t kidding.

Not five minutes after we arrived, more kids/parents started to gather. The pic above displays only HALF of the kids at our bus stop! I had no idea this was going to be the case. I love all of the newness – book bags, clothes, etc!

I think every kid there had at least one, if not both parents (with cameras) at the stop. Oh, and I’m not sure if the folks that own this house have kids at the stop. One of the parents told me they were (and have always) been really nice about the kids being in their driveway/yard for the year. What a great neighborly thing to do.

Nothing says funny like a boy doing his thing during photos.

Then the bus showed up. Just like that, I was in full melt-down mode. The tears just came. Eli, however, was beside himself and grinning ear to ear. I decided to keep it all contained until it was over.

Eli got on the bus, sat in the very first seat and was waving before I could blink. Then the bus drove away. A seasoned parent told us to wait, as the bus would come back by, and we needed to be there for the cursory “second wave”. So, we did. Eli had moved, and I did not see him, but I feel confident he’d not been expelled from the bus before the end of the subdivision.

Or not. Maybe he’s wandering around down the end of the street as we speak. At least I packed him a snack. ūüôā

Anyways, it all ended nicely, and parents mingled a bit before leaving. I did witness what parents feel when kids go to (or back to) school. When the bus was out of site, one parent started to dance, and one exclaimed, “hallelujah!” One couple began kissing and holding hands like teens, and bid the rest of us a fond farewell, heading quickly back to their house, arm-in-arm (much to the laughter of the rest of the adults). Seeing this, Jay looks at me and says “let’s get some breakfast.”

I love my husband! ūüôā

So, that was Eli’s bus stop. I’ve thought about him non stop. I’ve even had to stop looking at my watch. I think I’m going to go unpack a box of games. ūüôā

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HOUSE!! HOUSE!!! HOUSE!!!!!!! DAMNIT HOUSE!!!

Up to this last month it has been my experience that buying a house is much easier than selling one.

Selling

Kay and I put our house on the market about a month and a half ago. Prior to going on the market we took our seller agents advice and staged the place. That was three weeks of storing, cleaning, and painting. We had an appraisal done so we knew about what it was worth, then priced it at a value that would help it move. The house was on the market 11 days then went under contract.  We spent this last week moving our stuff to storage and friends houses. Yesterday we closed the house to a very nice couple.  The entire experience, while tiring, was probably as smooth as I have ever seen for selling a house.

 Buying

OMFG.  At this moment, while typing this, I have hives on my legs and arms from what I am pretty sure is stress. This morning Kay and I signed the termination of contractual agreement on a house that we were supposed to close on next week. This signing occurred after the third (not first, or second) time that I told my buyers agent to cancel the offer.  I was 30 minutes away from going to look at an apartment and then going to the local school we want Eli in to beg them to take them while we find another house. (This is not the end of the story, you can go to the last paragraph if this looks tl;dr.)

Three and a half weeks ago we saw this house on the first day it was on the market.  It had six showings that first day and even more lined up the next day. The sellers agent just happened to work across the desk from our buyers agent. Our buyers agent had shown us a number of houses the day before and this one pinged all of our needs.  Basement, large back yard, good school district, right foot print, price range at the upper end, yadda, yadda.

We tried to negotiate on price thinking it was a bit high, the sellers would not budge, but did give some closing costs.  We ordered the appraisal and an inspection. The inspection came back with a medium ticket issue and a bunch of little things.

Over the 4th of July weekend I got a serious case of buyers remorse. I saw a number of houses in the area that were similar that cost the same with better upgrades (kitchen, consistent hardwood floors, better condition), or other houses with less amenities (basement not finished) for a LOT less money. For the moment I had the feeling we were getting taken.  But after reading about buyers remorse and realizing more than half my issue was mental, and that the house itself hit on all our wants/needs I got past it.  I told myself that when the house appraises for the agreed on price then all would be fine.

Last week we find out that THE HOUSE DID NOT APPRAISE!!! ¬†It was over priced by $10K per the appraiser. The sellers and sellers agent said the appraisal was seriously flawed. We allowed the order of a review. ¬†The appraiser took the “information provided by the seller” and refused to budge on the appraisal price. Back and forth for a few days. ¬†Our buyers agent was telling me that even she agreed with the sellers agent (who works in the same office) about the appraisal. ¬†Did not matter, the banks appraiser was not budging.

(In all the negotiations

Yesterday morning I put a stop to it. I told the lender to stop entertaining reviews by the seller.  I have a week to get my family in a stable living arrangement, and that means either we close on this house, or I terminate the agreement and get us moved into an apartment. I told my buyers agent to tell them to terminate the contract (first time).

The seller agent came back with a counter offer, the appraisal price but no closing costs.  I countered with the appraisal price and all the original closings and repair costs.  I was told by my buyers agent that it was not going to happen.  At this point I really could care less if I get this house. Terminate the contract (second time).

My buyers agent calls me an hour later. She wants me to give them $1K off the closing. If we will move just a little bit then the sellers, the sellers agent, and the buyers agent will work together to get the rest of the closing costs money. ¬†I have never heard of realtors undercutting their profit to make a deal happen. I ask “why would you do that?” and basically get the “bird in the hand…” response. ¬†Oh, and I keep hearing “the appraisal is wrong” to which I say “do not say appraisal again”. ¬†Kay and I agree to the $1K less closing and I am told that they will make it happen.

My buyers agent called me and said she could not make it happen. Time to terminate the contract (if you are keeping count Рthird time).  I found a nice apartment complex in the area that will do a three month lease and will allow the two cats for a non-refundable amount.  Got the phone number of the Principal for the school we want Eli in and am planning how to grovel him in for a few months while we find a home in that school district.

While on the way to taking Eli to diner and Aikido my buyers agent calls me. ¬†She re-iterates the contract agreement we tried for last time and tells me “you won”. ¬†I say thanks, but I really do not feel like I won anything. ¬†I feel like I have paid apprasal price for a home in an economy where doing so is not the norm. But I am happy to have a house that ¬†has all the items we are looking for. So “thank you very much”. ¬†I am informed that later that evening I will have an¬†amendment¬†to the contract to sign for the new home sell price/closing costs.

That evening I get a call at 10pm. The wife of the couple has gone AWOL.  (Did I mention that the couple selling the house are divorced?)  She is not avialable to sign a contract. Will I sign an extension to noon the next day?  Sure. I can do noon the next day.

This morning I get this call from my buyers agent: “The sellers agent has someone from the appraisal review¬†commission¬†on the phone and wants to review….” ¬†I interrupt her “terminate the contract now” (4th). ¬† The termination agreement shows up and I electronically sign it (for both Kay and I, she skipped town to leave me with all this and the boy to galavant with her family). ¬†I let my buyers agent know that the signed termination letter is available. ¬†I let her know that I will be getting a 3 month lease on an apartment and commence plan “Principal Grovel Omega”. We can start house hunting once more in a ¬†few days. I sigh a sigh of relief. That is over.

A half hour later I get a call. There is an¬†amendment¬†to the contract for the appraisal amount and the closing costs that we last agreed on. Both sellers have signed. All I have to do is sign the contract and we have a house. ¬†My buyers agent says “Sign the bitch”.

My response text message is sent to her shortly after: “Bitch signed“.

We have a house.

 

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Fishing

For the past few years, my nephew Frankie has come to our home for at least a week each summer for a bit of a vacation. When he was younger, it was a cool chance to hang out with his awesome (Ha!) Aunt Kay and Uncle Jay and do the cool things… swimming, board games, video games, movies, etc. Even though I had to work, I tried so hard to make sure Frankie was having a great summer vacation away from home.

He’s older now, and this will be his last summer vacation with me for a while. He’s graduated high school this year, and has enlisted to serve our nation in the U.S. Navy. There’s an entire post I’m going to write about that later on. So, the bottom line is that he’s with us now for another vacation.

The dynamics have changed a bit in the last year or two. The excitement of his youth and those activities has been replaced with teen-aged interest. He’s spent a lot of time on the computer chatting with his friends and texting with his girlfriend. It seems the movies, trips bowling and arcades just aren’t as much fun as they used to be. I guess growing up does that to folks.

There is one activity we’ve always done, and it never loses it’s appeal, and that’s fishing. Each summer we try to get down on the lake or to the river to fish, even if just for an hour. This time, I decided to try a chartering service as a graduation gift for Frankie. We used Captain Scott’s Guide Service for a half-day trip on Lake Lanier.

I have known Scott for several  years, and to know him, is to know his passion for fishing, be it salt or fresh water. So, I knew this was going to be a good bet. We met Scott at the ramp just prior to 7am, and his boat was already in the water. He welcomed us aboard and we go on our way to our first fishing spot.

It was simply a beautiful morning on the lake. The temperature was cool, and a bit of morning mist. I cannot think of a better way to watch the sunrise. Such things often make me take a moment and remind myself of how truly blessed I am.

We got underway fishing. Scott was extremely knowledgeable about our target fish, and was great about explaining their nuances. He’s got some electronics on board, and was also very good about showing us how they worked, and help us find some fish.

We found out that there’s a reason you call it fishing and not catching. We were not catching much at all. Some of the bait was sniffed, but no takers. Every time another boat would pass, the captain would give a thumb-down, meaning they were not catching anything either. All was not lost though. Frankie finally did pull in a cat fish.

We also discovered how quickly the weather could change on Lake Lanier. It was just simply calm and beautiful first thing in the morning. Within about two hours, the wind had changed, skies had darkened, and water got very rough. Just a few hours after that, the sun came out, temps rose, and the breeze steady.

While we didn’t catch much, we sure enjoyed our time on the lake, and more so with Captain Scott. He was gracious, informative, and just a pleasure to be around. I would recommend his services for anyone looking not just a fishing trip, but a wonderful day on the lake.

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Surprising Swim

A couple years ago I took Eli to a local swim club for swimming lessons. ¬†In those lessons he learned how to jump into a pool, float on his back, and perform a basic “head in the water” stroke.

Up to a year ago I was taking Eli to the pool twice a week. ¬†As part of the swim I required that to start he jump in the pool. From there it was “play time” with a bit of practice mixed in.

This last year we have avoided the pool for a number of reasons, but with the summer approaching we decided to get Eli back into the water. ¬†One if his favorite activities in the past has been the gym’s water slide. Well, last year and this year they instituted a “swim test” requirement for the slide. Last year we did not swim at the gym enough to worry about it. ¬†But this year Eli has been chomping at the bit to go down the slide.

Kay and I had taken Eli to the pool about five times recently when he proclaimed that he was going to take his swimming test! ¬†That day Elijah (son of Sensei Tim) was at the pool and had his¬†bracelet¬†on indicating that he had passed the 25 meter swim test and was allowed unrestricted access to all the pools benefits. ¬†Since Elijah was there Eli did not want to be left behind. ¬†So while we are practicing swimming some Eli tells me “Dad, get mom, I am going to take the swimming test.”

Eli and I gather up Kay and over to the lap pool we go.  The lifeguard shows up and I ask him what the ramification of Eli failing the test will be.  I am informed that Eli could take the test as many times as he likes.  I explain that neither my wife nor I think Eli has a chance in heck of passing the test.

Kay and I go over the rules of the test with Eli.  You fail if you touch the side of the pool or the lane divider.  You will fail if  you touch the bottom of the pool. You fail if you drown. (That last one is never spoken out loud.)  Elijah comes over and tells Eli that he knows he can do it!

Eli jumps in, gets his bearings and starts swimming.  He splits the lane down the middle and keeps that path strong.  For the first 1/3 of the lane he is doing a pretty good breast stroke, but not using his feet that much.  Afterward he goes to a sort of dog-paddle with his feet kicking hard.  Around 2/3 of the way he just stops and floats to get his breath.  Then it is back to a hybrid dog-paddle/crawl.  Kay and I  go from a resolution of his failure to an incredulous belief that he can pass the test.

At the end of the swim Eli almost fails.  He sees the ladder at the side of the pool and starts to swim towards it.  I jump over to the end of the lane and we all holler that he needs to swim to me.  Eli changes course back to the middle of the lane and finishes the last 10 feet strong.  He then pulls himself out of the pool without assistance.   HE PASSED!!

The rest of that day, and a couple hours of the next are filled with Eli playing in the “deeper” part of the pool and wearing out the slides.

And Kay and I learn this lesson “again”. ¬†Never underestimate Eli!

 

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