Well, summer's nearly over--in the sense that children will be headed back to school and their leisurely pool days will come to an end.
It was an interesting summer for me as it's the first time in six years of pool adventures with kids that I could sit and attempt to read a book.
And it felt strange.
For six years I would tread water while holding one or more kids, scaffolding their attempts to swim and stay alive while they ventured deeper and deeper into the 12 feet.
This year with both on swim-team, I was pretty much shrugged off by the kids. They went from pool to playground, to lunching with their friends, back to the pool-all with minimal assistance from me. Aside from my stalking them with sunscreen, being met with eye-rolls and pursed lips as I did so, they had a fantastic time stretching their boundaries, moving away from me.
This felt good in a lot of ways. My friends with kids under four were especially jealous of my lounge-chair act, but I couldn't shake the feeling that I should be doing something, anything but sitting there like a lady of leisure. I nearly offered to help in the snack bar.
But, as things go, throughout the day, the kids would stumble over to me with one problem or another and I'd send them back to solve it themselves, completely conflicted--if only I'd insert myself in their lives, work out their problems for them, they'd have to spend more time with me--beg me to tread water or something...make me feel useful again.
Luckily, they understand their position in the world and understand fully it's not their job to give me something to do.
And I guess part of the reason I've spent so much time writing all these years, squeezing it in between naps and bedtimes and nursery school stints, is because I knew I'd need something to do when they were finished with me--finished with me in the that way that left us completely absorbed in each other's lives--something that makes me a person outside of a mother.
So, it was weird, but good. How was your summer?