My first memory of water isn't of trips to the beach. It's not swimming lessons or playing in the backyard pool.
White, fake fur coat zipped with the hood pulled tight to ward off the chill in the air. My feet pedaled my Big Wheel furiously near the apartment's pool area, eyes squeezed shut. Memories of the plastic tire grinding against concrete and what I'm sure is a faint smile at the freedom of my four year-old self barreling along.
I've lost time over the years either due to the unreliability of a toddler's mind or because it was a freaking long time ago. I don't remember why I stopped. I only remember it was abrupt, and when I opened my eyes, my Big Wheel was poised at the edge of pool. I can't tell you what color my trike was, but I can describe the pool drain in the deep end and how it seemed as deep as the parts of the ocean where I imagine sharks live. I know that, despite my young age, I knew I had escaped something by stopping just in the nick of time. Somehow, even then, I already had a healthy respect for water.