Remembering childhood swimming lessons still gives me a little bit of a stomach ache.
Nonetheless, I'm grateful that my parents made sure my brothers and I could safely swim, and the summer after Alice was born I enrolled the two of us in mommy-and-me lessons - just to get her used to the water. Definitely braver than I was as a kiddo, she was thrilled to be in the pool and only cried when it was time to dry off.
I realize how fortunate we both are to have had access to such opportunities. Swim lessons - even swimming pools - are out of reach for many children in our community, and more so since budget challenges closed many of Stockton's public pools.
Right now, the YMCA of San Joaquin County is working hard to raise enough money to reopen two public pools - at McKinley and Oak parks - facilities that offer health, safety and recreational resources to vulnerable neighborhoods and families. Wanna help out? You can send a check or money order to YMCA of San Joaquin County: 6315 Tam O'Shanter Drive, Stockton, CA 95210 (make sure you note on the check that the donation is for the pools), or call (209) 472-9622 for more information.