The day was hot and muggy. Summer in the Ozarks.
The creek flowed slowly, pooling quietly enough for the water skippers to stride over the surface. One could smell the apple scent they painted on the gentle breeze.
The father held his son up, standing in the deepest point, hand on a skinny belly. The dog paddle was perfected. The rest of the afternoon spent learning that stroke.
There were no more seasons such as that.
The father strayed far away. The mother and son made do. The odors of summer remained.
At least his father taught him to swim.