Paul loves to take the kids to the swimming pool when he gets home from work, and every day they look forward to Daddy coming home and hopefully taking them for an evening swim. I am usually a party pooper, opting to stay home with the baby rather than join the husband and kids as they troop to the pool at the dinner hour. It just seems like so much work, and by that time of day I’m ready for my jammies.
But I realize it is important to be together as a family, so I decided to join them tonight. I stuffed myself into my pre-pregnancy bathing suit while Paul threw the kids into their swim gear, and we all trekked off to the pool.
The kids had a blast. Paul and David spent most of the night in the big pool, and I sat with the girls in the kiddie pool. I couldn’t help but muse about how different it is to go to the pool with three children than it was in the old days, back when I would carefully position myself on a lawn chair so that I got a nice even suntan on all parts of my body, book in hand, Coke at my side, alternating between dozing in the sunshine and reading frivolous fiction.
Instead, tonight I found myself perched on the side of the baby pool with one eye on the preschooler flitting in and out of the baby pool yelling “Mommy, watch this!” over and over and over, and the other eye on the infant sitting in the shallow water at my feet making face-plants in the water every time I happened to look away for a second.
The only thing in my hand was the child-sized sunglasses I was ordered to hold by an imperious three-year-old, and the only thing at my side was a soggy towel that the children used repeatedly to wipe their faces and then left by the pool so that it was of no use when it came time to dry off and get ready to go home.
I started to long for the lazy days when I could sit by the pool, catch some rays, and read a good book. But I guess those days will be back before I know it. The children won’t need me close by, watching them like a hawk for too many years. And by then I will likely be lamenting the fact that my kids are all growing up and don’t care if I’m there or not, except when they want money for an ice pop or an arcade game. So I should treasure these days, right?