By Dahlia-Rose A.
10 years old / Brooklyn

“Ready to go to swimming lessons, Dahlia-Rose?” my mom asked. “You betcha!” I called back. I checked to make sure I had everything I would need; goggles, swim cap, swimsuit + skirt and a towel, of course. Little did I know I would need something else…
On the ride to swimming class I tried to read but I kept wondering and pondering about that BIG swimming pool. When we finally arrived, 15 minutes early, I waited and watched that bright blue pool, while my mom prepared my little brother for his lesson. He was super excited, I wasn’t.
I had 30 mins before I was up. I watched my brother and the other tadpoles, scoop the ice cream with their arms, float on their backs and fearlessly enjoy the water. The instructor gave them high-fives and thumbs up. I wanted that!

My 30 minutes were up, I was so excited now, I could barely wait to get my first high-five!
I stuck my big toe in the blue water and I knew something was VERY wrong. I had to lower myself into the water, I trembled but obeyed.
They said, “Hold on to the edge and kick your legs.” I did!!! (where’s my high-five??)
Now put your face in the water, blow bubbles and kick your legs…hunhhh? The instructor saw me struggling and came to press my face into the water…uh-uhhh…no way!!
“Okay”, she said, “We are going to move away from the ledge, use your arms and scoop the ice cream”…that’s when I begin to REALLY panic. I wrapped around her like a boa constrictor. She tried to remove my arms from her neck but she didn’t stand a chance, I was taller and stronger, my fear gave me extra strength. She turned back to the ledge, I was so happy, she was giving up but instead she yelled for the head instructor. He swam towards me like an olympic swimmer determination on his face, the woman instructor happily swam away…leaving me to HIM.He smiled but I wasn’t fooled…the only thing left to do was…CRY and I did very loudly. He took me back to safety, he looked in pain probably because I was choking him to death and screaming in his ear.
I climbed from the pool, trembling and sort of embarrassed. I said, “See you next week” with a determined gleam in MY eye. To be cont…