Swimming with Anika

(Pronounced AH-nee-kah.)

Water wings—check. Hat tied with a bow under the chin–check.

Sunscreen applied—check. Toys–check.

Two years old, she flips onto her back

Kicking her feet

Smoothly through the cool, clear water.

Then as quickly as she jumped in

She pulls herself out

Lifting her right leg, then her left

Up onto Grandma Angie’s deck.

Grandma lives in the Clove beneath the Resort.

A lush mountain is at her backdoor.

The Trapps, a famous cliff climbing area, is to the far right.

Aneesh, as Aldona, her Polish grandma, affectionately calls her

Then runs and doesn’t walk to where the ball has landed.

She grasps it tightly with her chubby hand.

And lifts it holding it behind her shoulder, then throws it.

It falls close to me, her Great Aunt

sitting on a purple noodle, trying not to get water in my face, splashing my sunglasses.

Anika squeals with joy and speaks



And I reply yes

Then grab it 

Turn to my mom, her GiGi, and shout catch.

GiGi catches it neatly

And throws it to Angie

Who throws it to Aldona and then Chrissy

And finally, back to Anika, 

who by now has discovered something new.

Anika is holding a translucent pink bottle with a wand

Dipping the wand into the bottle and moving it towards her lips to blow

Repeating between breaths,



Yes, bubbles, we reply.

C. S. De Dona 08-17-22

photo credit: Natalia Wachowska Evans

** It is important to note that Anika is being taught to be bi-lingual. She will speak English and Polish.

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