A day at the pool

Today the girls and I met up with friends to go to the local water park. We had yet to go, the park was approaching being a few years old and it was a halfway point for the families to meet up. We packed a cooler and towels, loaded up on the sunblock and headed out. In the rain. While lightning struck the ground once or twice. “Ugh”, I grumbled, “it looks horrible out; I hope the pool isn’t closed”. Little Sister reminded me to “Look on the bright side, even if it’s behind you”. From the mouths of babes.

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Actual photo of the weather we drove into.

 

By the time we got to the park it had cleared considerably and upon seeing a few cars and what appeared to be no line for entrance I was thrilled to have soldiered on. I found a spot slightly shaded and pulled that foil looking cover that Moms have in their trunks over the windshield– folding it upside down and tucking it into my micro sun visors. Then we saw the line. After that we saw the camp buses, unloading their neon yellow and fluorescent orange charges, swarming the gates. Fuuuuuuuuudge.

We survived the line. The kids threw their clothes off and flung themselves into the lazy river. We hit the slides, we played in the slash pad and returned to the river. There were the highs of warm, sun kissed little faces and frosty cherry, blueberry and coke icees. There were lows – the blacked out enclosed waterslide that left the littlest in tears and nauseous (I can testify that it was slightly terrifying) tied only to the “mandatory 20 minute evacuation and sterilization of the splash pad” (yes, that is exactly why it had to be done). In between, the girls had to take a swim test to prove they could handle going off the diving board, (both passed the swim test, only one could handle going off the board).

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Terrifying slide on left.

 

It took me back to going to waterparks as a kid myself, when the lifeguards were tanned teenagers with dreamy names like Blair and Bjorn, all prestige in their towers, whistles at the ready. I glimpsed my future, hearing the tween girls ask each other repeatedly “are you, like, mad at me” and “do you still want to be my best friend”, all wounded eyes and self-imposed suffering.

It set us back $43.10 (they got me on the extra $1 rain protection) but I could have added four cushioned shaded lounge spaces for an additional $24.95 – yes they were billing for shade (which we were able to secure free of charge in the general admission space). I managed to polish off both kids left over potato chips (I couldn’t be WASTEFUL!). But I was in glorious company, the sun was shining and I watched as these little girls grew up a little more in front of my eyes. I just cut off my wristbands (the original old school souvenirs) declaring my admission and noting “I CAN SWIM”, which was oddly validating. I was able to have that uneasy feeling as I walked out onto the diving board and the exhilaration of the plunge once I’d jumped off. I watched the girls join the big kids in their own little gang of linked inner tubes, a few spots removed and I realized that was a pretty sweet spot to be in.

I think I am at a place where I am able to see what I am going through as part of a life experience. Not necessarily good or bad, but part of my story. I thought a lot about what Little Sister was talking about in the car. So much is said now about living in the now, being fully present in only this moment. But sometimes we need to relive those bright sides (even if they are behind us) to draw strength from them. I got a bonus, I saw it as good while it was happening and I get to keep it for later. I hope you are racking those moments up as well this week.

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4 thoughts on “A day at the pool

  1. YEEEEEEEESSSSSSSS!!!!!! I love this! My littles are taking swimming lessons at the indoor YMCA pool (being a Florida girl, I despise indoor pools, but I digress) As I’m sitting on the sidelines watching these little pups trying to doggy paddle their way around, the Senior citizens are doing their water aerobics to Katy Perry’s Firework, (I’m desperately trying not to break into dance) and feeling my heart so full it just might burst. Granted, I did realize that I AM on the sidelines, not the one taking care of my kids in that instance, but I guess that’s where we get to sit back and see the little people they are becoming. Not while we’re in the trenches. It was beautiful. And yes, it happened at an indoor pool. I was surprised too!

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  2. And this took ME back…to 2 different times. The oldest memories are those of taking my “sissies” to the “tot” water park and feeling so incredibly self conscious around all of the “hot bod” moms, myself being over 40 at the time my girls were 6. Thank goodness my girls had been swimmers since age 4, so I was able to remain in my shorts & tank top.
    The more recent memory is of taking my 10 yo girls with their cousins on a long ride through very similar stormy weather, getting lost, but finally making it there under sunny skies. By this time I could care less about those other moms and, as this park had “big” water attractions, I joined in on the fun!
    Both great memories overall. A day full of sun and “water, water, everywhere!” always good for a sound nap and a peaceful drive home, listening to MY station! ⛈😎💦😴

    Liked by 1 person

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