Farm Girl needed new swimming goggles, of that we were all very aware. The old ones had become a tad lax at sealing so that, by the end of her weekly lesson, they looked a little bit like twin front loader washing machines in that lull between cycles. Adding to that, the left-side headband attachment started spontaneously exploding on a regular basis; it finally got to a point where more time was spent on tinkering with eye-wear than on actual swimming. Yes indeed, we agreed, something really needed to be done.
“Buy the girl some new goggles!” we hear you shrieking; and with good reason, too. It’s obvious to us now that all our ridiculous feet-dragging over this tiniest of tasks was, as these things often are, wrapped up in a whole lot of other stuff. The sort of stuff that actually has nothing, but also everything, to do with a humble set of swimming goggles.
Over the last year we Homesteaders have had some big things to wrap our heads around regarding Farm Girl’s lack of sight. Different things hit different people; coming to terms with her never being able to drive, for example (incidentally a fact that Farm Girl herself accepted as a given; perhaps she had always known) hit some, while witnessing her negotiate the sometimes brutal social cut and thrust of the seven year old world with the added issue of not being able to clearly gauge the body language, facial expressions or just where her friends had run away to had others seething and scheming.
“But she’s so able, just like a normal little girl,” is the most often voiced comment on learning of her dodgy vision, and therein lies the reason for stalling on the goggles replacement. In hindsight it seems so ludicrous, but what it boiled down to is we were facing acknowledging something not all of us were ready to.
It was Farm Girl making the massive leap from littlies pool to the big one that sorted it in the end. This prestigious change of swimming venue meant Suzanna, her wonderful, tolerant, funny, knowledgeable and utterly patient instructor, was further away from the action. To keep noise to a minimum, Suzanna does a pretty extensive line in funky hand gestures.
“I’m terrible at swimming now I’m in the big pool,” Farm Girl announced at a recent round table conversation; a claim we all scrambled to scoff at, providing a collection of witnessed swimming triumphs and screeds of anecdotal evidence.
“But Suzanna never gives me the thumbs up anymore.”
Oh. In fact, the frequency of thumbs ups sent in Farm Girl’s direction had not changed, but the distance they were relayed over had. That’s the moment we all got it.
The prescription goggles arrived in time for this weeks swimming lesson, pink to match her togs as directed. A try out and cat walk session pronounced them, “Yep, good.” Then Homestead life reasserted itself; dinner preparation was started, goats were milked, off-Homestead workers arrived and gave potted reviews of their days high and low lights.
“Where’s FG?” someone suddenly asked.
“Can I wear them to school tomorrow?” This request was gently by firmly discouraged. She did manage to get through another chapter and a half of Five Go Off in a Caravan before lights out at bedtime, though.
As for yesterday at swimming…
Five items of a possible six retrieved from the bottom of the pool
four full lengths swum to the very end as the wall was easily distinguished
the chaperone was told off for inattention during backstroke and, most joyful of all,
another entry for the Santa list was discovered.
Who knew they made Frozen themed swimming togs?