Saturday, July 18, 2009

A Day at the Pool

I love the pool! For a sun-worshipping (with sunblock these days, of course) fish like me, the pool has always been sort of Mecca.

Sadly, since I have had kids, I have developed an unnatural fear of the public pool. Something about the high numbers of virtually unsupervised, unobservant, and relatively ill behaved children mixed with the imminent danger of drowning has kept me far away from the swimming pool for the last 7 years. Now, that’s not to say that we haven’t gone to our friends private pools, but nothing says summer quite like a day at the city pool. As I re-read this paragraph, I think it is all really sad that I let this obsessive thought process get the best of me.

Anyway, empowered by 2 weeks of Red Cross swimming lessons and the desire to get out of the house and away from the computer, TV and mountain of laundry, the kids and I spent our first day at the public pool yesterday. You know I learned a few things about myself and about life.

1) You CAN go back.

In the right frame, it is possible to recapture some of that uncomplicated joy that you had when you were a kid. Part of this is vicarious. It is nearly impossible not to embrace the joy your kids feel in that moment….when your six year old comes running from the slide and says, “Sometimes, it’s so fun, that you just HAVE to SCRREAMMMM!” And in that moment, just for a second, be a kid again. It was a beautiful and poignant moment, and I was so blessed to be able to both observe and experience it at the same time.

2) In order to experience this you have to stop being an observer and start actively participating!

This was really hard for me! I am the sideline mom…I have a tendency to sit back and watch my husband play with my munchkins, watching them interact and play is a really joyful thing for me, but there are times when I long to get in the game. Today I did, and I was richly rewarded for it!

So I went home again…to my childhood….sunny days spent with friends playing in the water, getting out to soak in the sun and then, as soon as the cool droplets of water have dried, heading back into the pool again. Eating crazy snack combinations like dill pickles and blue sno cones and just relaxing with no agenda, no schedule and no worries. Absolute bliss! There is nothing like that exhausted, toasty warm, and absolutely starving feeling you have after a day at the pool!

Hmmm…now I’m hungry…I’m gonna go eat some watermelon and have a seed spitting contest with my son (I have to up my game, he’s gotten really good!)….So long for the weekend…..but maybe, just maybe next week, I’ll see YOU at the pool?!

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