Going for a Bonus

“Somehow I kept my head above water. I relied on the discipline, character, and strength that I had started to develop as that little girl in her first swimming pool.” ~ Esther Williams
As the youngest, by a good fifteen years, I got dragged around a lot! That included moving siblings into school. Even at three years old, my little legs would carry their own weight even if it was just carrying my sisters’ pillows up and down flights of dorm room stairs.

My parents tended to take pity, or bribe us into best behavior, depending on how you look at it. They would promise us if we helped move my siblings in, we would get “Bonuses!”

Nope we aren’t talking about the corporate bonuses of thousands or millions. My parents were and are generous, but not like that!

Bonuses was code word for swimming.


They need only mention it, and my siblings and I would work a little quicker to unload. The smell of chlorine beckoning to us. The promises of diving into cool water, playing games and jumping and splashing, like a beacon from a light house beckoning.

Paying my sibling’s tuition didn’t leave much money for vacations. College move-ins and move-outs were just that. Our time as a family to be on vacation (and move all my siblings crap in and out, why we never threw half of it in the dumpster is beyond me) The bonuses were our treat.

To this day hearing that word brings a smile to my face. It makes the memories of playing fishy with my sister, and water football with my brother come to mind. Practicing my swimming skills in the water and channeling my inner mermaid before I even knew mermaids other then Ariel existed.

I still refer to swimming, especially at a hotel pool, to this day as “A bonus.”

It brings back a simpler time. When as kids we didn’t need much to entertain us, except some water and each other. When it wasn’t the thrill of electronics, but the splash of water that would make us happy.


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