It was the day the Marines stormed the shores of the Rose Bowl Aquatics Center.
On Saturday, they shared the same lap pools with a bunch of little kids learning how to kick, paddle, and breathe. The Marines were learning how to kick, paddle, and breathe too-- with full gear on.
It was the oddest juxtaposition this dad had ever seen.
At first the kids were scared. Then they were just surprised. Then they were just curious about it all. The Marines were soaked from head to toe in their full uniforms-- with backpacks and weapons. The kids were soaked from head to toe in their full uniforms too-- Target swim suits and technicolor goggles-- no weapons except the foamy sea horse and rubber frog they throw in their diving drills.
The Marine instructors barked out orders at their military students. The swim instructors barked out orders at their little kid students. Both sets of students looked soaked and unhappy.
At one point, the Marines let out a thunderous "Woo Hah!'' that jolted the pool in the awesomest way ever. I only wish the kids could have mustered a thunderous Woo Hah in return.
At one point, an older woman came up and spoke with the kids. She said "Don't be scared. The Marines need to learn swim skills like everyone else."
And she was right. As the Marines stood their in full uniforms, with weapons and backpacks for their training, the kids were at full attention.
It was the wildest swim class ever.