Have I told you about the time that I almost drowned in my godfather’s pool? The entire family was right there. My mom and dad, my godparents, most of my godfather’s large Italian family, and I was on the bottom of the pool.
Mom and Dad had paid for swimming lessons that summer. I was four. Dad wanted to be sure that I was safe and knew how to swim well enough so that I wouldn’t drown. I had been in the pool with my dad and he said it was time for me to get out. Although I had been taking lessons, he still had me wear “floaties” so that I would be safe. He wanted to get out first so that he could get changed and come back with a towel for me to dry off and one for my long hair too. He took the floaties off of me and told me stay there. He meant the stairs of the pool – I guess I thought he meant “that general area”. So, off the steps I went.
I was bouncing around and I guess I got too deep. I remembered that dad had told me if I ever got too deep to remember to hold my breath. About that time Aunt Catherine must have seen me on the bottom of the pool. She yelled to my Mom and Dad, “Isn’t that Cindy on the bottom of the pool?” My Dad jumped in and pulled me up. He told me that when he got down there with me, my eyes were open and my cheeks were puffed out. I was holding my breath like he told me.
I don’t really have a clear memory of this event; just my recollection of the story that Dad told me many times. I do remember being at the bottom of the pool though, holding my breath. I don’t think I was scared – but I scared the life right out of my dad. I wasn’t allowed to be in the pool – even on the steps – by myself for a long time after that!
My parents, godparents and me. I was 9 in this photo - and had mastered swimming!