A series on my experiences as an immigrant in Canada
It’s the first day of swimming lessons for my husband and me. After the class, the instructor suggests we practice in a different lane. Apart from the two of us, a young Canadian girl and a gentleman from Pakistan join the practice. I am still practicing floating when a girl, snow white in complexion and no more than five years old, walks across the deck to stand near me.
“Is the water warm or cold?” she asks me.
“It’s not too cold,” I say.
She jumps in and squeals in delight, “It’s warm!” then jumps right out.
As we float, holding on to the deck wall for our dear lives, she asks me,
“Are you and him, Mom and Dad?” She points with her eyes to the Pakistani gentleman, floating in a corner away from the three of us.
“Me and who?” I ask her.
She points again to the Pakistani swimmer, saying, “This one.”
“No,” I say and draw her attention to my husband, floating right next to me, “Me and him are together.”
“Ah, so you are parents,” she says knowingly.
“No,” I simply say.
“So you are grownups.”
“You are going to have a baby?”
“You have a baby,” she says, rolling her eyes.
“No, I don’t.”
“I know you do.”
“The baby got out. I know it did.”
With that, she walks away, casting one last all-knowing glance my way.
I beseech, “No!”
But to no avail. By now the little lady has already moved on.
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Photo courtesy: http://vdleek.blogspot.ca/