My son stands on the lip of the pool, looking down. Inflatable bright orange "Swim Easy" flotation cushions jut out awkwardly from each skinny arm, and a bright blue life jacket is strapped across his (barely) three year old chest. Sunlight, pounding and hot, is caught in the clear chlorinated water and reflected back in countless, shimmering dots of light. He squints and scrunches his face at its intensity. He eyes the water longingly, envious of the kids already moving through it.

I want him to jump in. If I could, I would inhabit him, have him throw away the "Swim Easy" and life jacket, dive into the shallow water, feel the coolness moving swiftly around me, swim the length of the pool beneath the surface, come up with a slight gasp at the far end, shake the water from my hair. I would see the pool, the parents, the other kids, through his eyes, and he would not fear any of it anymore.

Squinting at the bright crystal waters, toes curling over the warm concrete lip of the pool, he stands still, waiting, not yet ready to jump in.

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