Monday, April 16, 2018

I May Never Be a Mermaid

When I was little I dreamed of being a mermaid, I would jump into the water pushing my legs together like a tail, swimming along the bottom of the pool. Today, the thought of that makes me cringe. Growing up I lived in the water, but one day that changed. By the time my ears fully developed, around age 10, I could no longer jump off the diving board, or swim to the bottom with my friends. I had a pinhole in my eardrum, caused by tubes as a child, which made going into the water extremely painful. Even if I was splashed, I would run out of the water in pain, clutching my mother on the side of the pool, wishing I could go back to the days of pretending to be a mermaid. I spent my summers trying out different kinds of earplugs, wearing odd fabric bands around my head, and avoiding the water in general. I was miserable watching my older sister and friends dive under the water, begging them to swim where I could stand. I often became the judge for the diving competitions and spent my days reading in the shade instead of in the water.