Take Me Back Tuesday - 6

The year is 1982.  It's summertime, and I am four years old.  My mom is single and working her rear off, being the mom she is supposed to be, you know, making sure she brings home the bacon, so to speak.  Summertime means no school (not that I am in school yet, anyway), and it also means mom can't stay home with me.  So, she does what a lot of parents do in my small hometown each summer - she signs me up for day camp at the YMCA.

I love the Y.  Each day we have swim time (sometimes twice a day), crafts, and I'm meeting all kinds of kids who seem to know a lot more about everything (including bad words) than I do.

Fridays are movie days at day camp.  So far I've seen Flight of the Navigator, and this week something happened to one of the counselors or something so the bigger kids are having to sit with the younger ones so we can watch a movie together.

I can't find anyone that I've gotten to know, so I'm just going to sit Indian style on the floor where I don't have look over a bunch of kids' heads and watch the movie.  Cue the counselor turning on the TV, and older boys hooting.  Must be a really good movie.

There's lots of water, and these guys are on a boat.  They're in some kind of gear, swimming, diving or something.  Now there's a leg floating around under water, and people are screaming, running out of the ocean as fast as possible.  The music is scary.  Really scary.  I'm covering my eyes.  

After a while I look again.  Things have gotten quiet.  I think the gross stuff is over.  Then this guy swims over to some shipwreck or something.  He goes underneath the boat and finds a man's body, floating, with one eye ball missing and these root-looking things coming out of his eye socket.  I am now completely freaked out.

I go to an adult, and tell her that I don't think I should be watching this.  She tells me it's fine and sends me back to sit down.  So I do.  And I watch.  Even though it's gross, and freaky.  Because like anyone my age, even when we know we aren't supposed to look, especially when we know we aren't supposed to look, we do.

Fast forward approximately three years.  My mom has met a wonderful guy, and they get married.  He even adopts me.  He is awesome.  And even better?  The house we just moved into has a pool.  

But guess what.  I can't swim.  I mean, I can swim, I swim very well, actually.  I just can't swim alone, in the deep end, at all.  Every time I go down there, down near the drain, I see the man with no eye, the roots wiggling around.  I see Jaws himself, his mouth agape, coming at me with his big shiny teeth.  And guess what else.  I can't swim in a pool, in the deep end, by myself, for the next ten years.  Somehow Jaws knows which pool I am in, no matter where I go, and he's always there, smiling at me, by the drain.

So thanks, YMCA day camp.  Thanks so much.  And while I'm at it, I might as well thank Fort Roosevelt, one lady in particular actually, for reading Rikki-tikki-tavi to me - you have no idea how scared I was of the drain in my bathtub, for years.


Elisabeth Black said...

You are so fun. When I was little I heard about snakes and baby alligators coming up into people's toilets in Florida (urban myth?) and I checked under the seat thereafter. We lived nowhere near Florida.

Come to think of it I still get a shiver and have to check sometimes.

sarahjayne smythe said...

Thank you so much for posting this. It brings back such memories. :)

Anne Gallagher said...

We had a beach house and the same year Jaws came out, (which I still have not seen) there were several "big white" sightings off the coast. The Rangers came down in their green trucks and told us we couldn't swim. I never went in over my knees after that. Still don't.

Sara Louise said...

What a great movie to show children :-I
When I was little, my babysitter, who was supposed to watch me at home, took me to the bowling alley three days a week, where she bowled and drank beer. I got put into the 'daycare' room with like 30 grubby kids with sticky fingers and two adults to watch us. They never used to let us go to the bathroom because someone would have to take us and they couldn't just leave one person to watch all the rest of the kids. And we got one little cup of apple juice and one sugar cookie shaped like a flower with a hole in the middle. Months later, when my mother finally found out where I was spending my days, she was PISSED!
I still don't like bowling alleys.

Jessica L. Brooks (coffeelvnmom) said...

Piedmont -

The beach we take a family vacation at every year has signs posted - great whites were seen there a few years ago. Always makes me nervous, especially since I am constantly yelling at the oldest to get her butt back closer to the beach!

Sara Louise -

Isn't it crazy how things like that can scar us for life? LOL

Cassandra Frear said...

Eeewww. How awful.

I decided today to spend some time visiting other author's blogs, because I have had no time for it for days. It's a good choice for a tired brain. I generally don't do it when I am writing -- I am a single task person and find it very distracting. But I love seeing what others are writing about!

In the meantime, I'm thinking about a long-range writing schedule and what that might look like. Thanks so much for your thoughts at the Moonboat today!

Jeannie said...

My parents showed me Arachnophobia at the age of 10. Yeah, to this day I can't do anything if a spider is looking at me.

Jessica L. Brooks (coffeelvnmom) said...

Ugh. That's one of those movies you can never get out of your head either, Jeannie!

Cassandra, I know what you mean, I try to read the blogs a few days a week, but if I do more, my writing takes the back burner.

Susie said...

Wish I'd known Jessica...I would've gone down to the Y and read them out...I was like that way back then and would have been very offended to know my child had been exposed to that movie. "Rosemary's Baby" had scenes that still freak me out...and they say children aren't impressionable? By the way, I was in my early 20's when I saw Rosemary's Baby...haha