Nationwide Class of 2017: Mike Garry on his secret parenting technique

Armbands- a poem written and performed by me, Mike Garry Your first swimming lesson aged 4 And a teacher asks the class, “Has anyone swam in the deep end before?” And your arm shot up straight away As if to say, “Course, me, me dad, me sisters and me mates

” But little did you know That round your arms were bands, Blown up with these lips and wrapped round with these two hands And every time we’d go and swim, I’d deflate each armband a tiny bit, And I would pray and hope that You would learn to swim and cope and float on your own And I’ve used different bands at different times For different things throughout your life And like back then You’ll never know Those bands don’t disappear But grow

I just let them down from time to time, Until I am completely sure Like that first swimming lesson, when you were 4, That you’re gonna be fine That things are gonna be alright

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