Things I Learned This Summer – Part 1

The kids are going back to school next Wednesday – 4th grade, 1st grade and Gabe starts pre-K this year. It is exciting times – and also marks the end of summer for those who care not about the autumnal equinox. I have only known one person in my life who cared about autumnal equinoxes – he worked at the South Pole and something awesome happened at that time (maybe he saw the sun for the first time in months…?) I don’t know. But anyway – summer is almost over. Now is a good time to reflect on this past summer.

First, I have previously written about the snake. That was legit.

Here is the other scary thing from the summer. We spent last week at a lake house not far from here to reconnect, rest and relax. It was great. There was a lake (obviously) with a beach, a pool and other fun things to do – we took our kayaks. Here is the worst part of the lake week: getting your nuts and chest wet when walking into cold water. This is true of walking into either a lake or cold ocean water or pool. Life was great and no problem after I got my mid-section and chest wet, but up until that point – I was paralyzed. I could only take baby-steps deeper and deeper into the water or into the pool. My mind kept telling me to face my fear and keep walking deeper into the lake. My balls kept telling me they were planning on hiding somewhere deep within and things would be incredibly uncomfortable for awhile. After 10 minutes of inching my way toward deeper water as I watched my kids already playing in the deep, I worked up the courage to sink down below the water line and get my testicules wet. They responded by disappearing. It was no great feat, but I feel as if I accomplished something.

The tough part then was that I was closer to my knuckle-headed kids. They would start splashing like I had been swimming all day long. But my stomach and chest were still dry. I was still on the baby-step plan of entering the water. With each splash my nipples started threatening that they were going to go the same way as my testies or do some unforeseen protrudity. I didn’t want to show any weakness in front of my kids (because they would just laugh and exploit my horrors). I had to do something. So, I finally just had to dive in and get wet. Everything was fine. I am not the big softie I thought I was. I was able to get wet and play with my kids in the lake – it just took some time!

I also went through significant cancer treatments that shot particles into my brain, blasted the hair off of part of my head and may or may not have long term effects while I was living away from my family and not being able to help my kids process what I am going through. But I can write about that later.

Here is the learning:

  1. Going into a cold ocean is easier than going into a cold lake or pool. The ocean has waves that will wet your crotch quicker than if you have to do the dirty business yourself. Although – we should all prefer lakes because there are no sharks. Obviously. Shark week on Animal Planet was off the charts this year – as were all of the great whites off the east coast.
  2. There is only one way to enter a pool. Cannon ball into the deep end. No other way. You adjust to the temperature of the water quicker. There is no playing around like trying to walk into a lake or ocean.
  3. A quick dive into the lake solves all frozen nut problems.
  4. It is basically like ripping off a band-aid. Get your head around getting cold quickly and you will be fine.
  5. Once you get in the water, crouch down so that only your head is above the water. Everything below your head will be fine from there.

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