We started swim lessons with her 2-year-old son who was already somehow traumatized by swimming. After a few keiki swimming lessons, he proved currently unwilling to address his fears, so I looked at mom. With all due respect and Love and Healing for all, Mom is a beautiful, educated, smart, black, Woman who quickly admitted she never swims. She was even more afraid of the water than her wonderfully comical 2-year-old who absolutely refused.
“I’m a privileged white girl”, I was happy to confess. My parents didn’t love me, but I always had a pool. Valerie’s mom was on deck that day lovingly watching under an umbrella as her adult daughter and first Grandson broke new ground with me in the ocean. Generational healing is real, and we connected on that very deep level.
By the third lesson with Mom, there just happen to be a pod of dolphins sleeping outside the swim lane 200 yards out in the bay. I decided to pull Valerie on my trusty kickboard leaving her no time to think or decide. She was right there in the middle of writing her own new swim story for her and her son, and her mom. This was a Hawaii swim lesson after all, so I asked her to move her arms one at a time in big sweeping circles scooping water and making rainbows. As she swam for the first time in her whole life, the dolphins followed her in. And I thought I was the swim teacher. Valerie learns to swim with dolphins.