This summer marked the end of an era in my life.
For the better part of two decades I’ve spent many summer morning hours
at the side of the pool while my offspring splashed, floated, flutter-kicked,
crawled, back-stroked, frog-kicked, breast-stroked, side-stroked (remember threading the needle?), dived
and finally butterflied their way through the levels of the American Red Cross swimming program.
I’ve enjoyed that time by the pool. Over the years I’ve accomplished much there; I’ve read a variety of books, knit socks, a scarf and a shawl, graded schoolwork, drilled my oldest in Latin, read morning prayer and captured a variety of insects for our collection. But mostly I’ve enjoyed the excuse to sit and relax and bask in the bright sunshine and fresh breezes instead of bustling around doing morning chores.
It’s been ‘me’ time for quite a number of years, ever since my youngest decided that he wanted to learn to swim instead of sticking close to me and playing with toys.
For a few years, I wondered if he was ever going to learn to swim. I would sign him up for lessons and on the first day he would refuse to go in the water, so then I would tootle over to the office to ask for a refund (minus $5.00 – I guess they thought the staff deserved some compensation for listening to his crying). The next year, I’d sign him up again. We’d go to the pool on the first day of lessons and he’d cry and refuse to go in the water. And I’d get another refund. Finally, after three or four years of that, he went in the water. Then it was ‘me’ time.
Now he’s passed all six levels, as have his siblings before him (actually my oldest passed seven levels before ARC revised the program to the current six levels.)
And I realized that I don’t want to stop going to the pool on summer mornings. I like the relative peace and freedom to veg out and not feel that I should be busy, going somewhere, doing something. The problem is that in the mornings, the pool is only open to those who are taking lessons. But I have all winter to figure out a way to keep going there – any suggestions?