The water was hot and salty and my mother was floating, her feet and face parted by the water. Was she joined at all?
Every time you swim you are escaping the earth, not attached to terra firma. That’s what she told us and we believed the logic. Just above the ground and sort of unattached.
It was the same with jumping, especially on the trampoline. We were in space. Actually not on the earth at all, floating wild and free, like Neil Armstrong and Buzz and the other guy who we could never remember. She was the sun and we orbited around her, drawn in then flung out to our own trajectory. Our world didn’t have boundaries, the galaxies and moons were our companions as we stepped right off the planet.
She always said this and we believed her. Nothing could keep us down.
Nothing could keep her down, as we bombarded her with water and blow-up toys she laughed and disappeared, swallowed by the sea.
She didn’t come back. We panicked and imagined her sucked down to the bowels of the earth forever. Then she popped up, freed from Neptune and the Gods of the underworld, and smiled.
Look at me I’m not even on the earth, she said and we believed her.