The Kid With Gills

My son loves swimming. He’s been a polliwog since he was two years old (he’s 9 now). Today, I bought him a “grown up” mask and snorkel and showed him how to use it.

I think he’s foregone terrestrial life forever. He’s an aquatic life form now.

I spent a couple of hours being shown every little pebble, leaf and hair-clip-thingie that had sunk to the bottom of the pool.

And -wonder of wonders- he found a penny! Then we played the penny game: I throw the penny, he retrieves the penny, I throw the penny, he retrieves the penny…get the idea?

“Let’s swim across the pool, dad!” “Let’s go to the deep end, dad!” “Race ya, dad!” (I loved every minute of it.)

Alas…only one pool hereabouts allows masks and snorkels, and it closes on Labor Day. Pretty soon he’ll have to hang up his snorkel gear (next to mine) for the winter. But until then…

Last one in’s a rotten egg!


Sounds like a great time dad… glub glub!

::plugging nose::




hushed voice of announcer
ChrisP prepares for the final dive of his illustrious career as a championship diver. He leaps, does a triple back flip and spreads his arms and legs wide…Belly Flop! It is the most amazing thing I’ve ever seen from the 50 foot board! The crowd goes wild…

I have fond memories of snorkling in the lake with my dad when I was a little pollywog. One big snorkle sticking out of the water, one little one. I then graduated to solo snorkling, (HEY, I FOUND A DOOR KNOB!) and exploring wetlands. (HEY, THERE’S A LEACH ON MY LEG!) My entire family got SCUBA certified last winter, (yea, I said winter. We’re a hearty bunch. There was a foot of snow on the ground when I did my openwater checkout dive…) and for a long, long time, I was going to be a marine biologist. So I can relate.

::Swiddles does an underwater headstand::

My son is looking forward to becoming certified, too. I’ve gotta get him down to Florida so he can snorkel in the ocean…maybe Pennekamp.

Side note: I’ve been certified twice (NAUI, PADI). I re-certified because it had been ten years between dives. Anyway, the second time around, my check-out dive took place during a snow storm. Before diving, we suited up and the divemaster poured warm water down the necks of our wet suits. Now there’s a weird feeling.

How old is your son, Rysdad? He sounds exactly like mine. My son will be 9 in Sept. And I’ve had all three of my kids in the water as soon as their umbilicals fell off. :wink:

This year, my youngest, (just turned 5) graduated to the “Look Dad, I’m not wearing a floatie!” stage.

My son is 9. (Nine-and-two-thirds, if you ask him.)

I think he may be the first of the Homo Atlanteus mutation.

I’ve mentioned his two main precepts before, but here they are again:

  1. There’s never a good reason to get out of the water.

  2. There’s never a good reason to go inside. Unless Pokemon is on.

ChrisP said:

“Belly Flop! It is the most amazing thing I’ve ever seen from the 50 foot board! The crowd goes wild…”

I have one word for you: OWWWWWWCH!!!

Holy shit, man! A belly flop from 5 feet hurts enough! One from 50 feet might well kill you!

What’s their reasoning behind no mask and snorkels? I’ve never heard of such a policy at any of the local pools.

Rysdad, did you borrow my son? Ralf Jr. would live in the water too, if we let him. We drove to the east coast for vacatiopn this last June. His sole criteria in picking motels was “Do they have a pool?”

The local high school pool doesn’t allow them either. I think (but I’m just guessing) it’s so the weak swimmers don’t get carried away with playing with them, and not notice that they’re in over their head (pun intended). A poor reason, if true. Where’s the parental units who should be with the kid?

You mentioned scuba - talk to your instructor - PADI has a junior cert. program for kids 12 & up, and some instructors will do the “scuba adventure” pool dive for younger kids, if they feel they can do it w/o panicking. If he’s got a level head, he might be able to do this. Then you’ve got a builtin dive buddy for the next 6-7 years.

Thanks for the tip. I will check into that.