My cell phone rang. I answered it, fully expecting to hear the professor’s voice on the other end. The only person who ever calls me on my non-smart-phone. Instead, it was a friend. ‘Do you want to go to the pool?’
Had she read my blog? Had she taken pity on my poor, neglected children whose mother takes them to the car wash for ‘fun’? She had not, but overcome by mother-guilt, I felt certain the universe was conspiring against me; daring me to deny my children an invitation to an actual, real pool. With changing rooms. And swimsuits: required.
It was the Hen’s birthday, so I allowed him to decide. ‘Do you want to go to the pool?’ ‘Yes!’
So I donned a swimsuit for the second time in two months. [A new record for me, I should add.] And I loaded two of my three boy-children into the van for an early evening swim. My oldest boy-child declined, preferring to read in the company of his father. [Funny that a child who looks like he should be a swimmer has zero interest in actually being one.]
The changing rooms had concrete rather than gross-tile floor. [The benefit of outdoor swimming pools, I suppose.] And, courtesy of the early-evening-hour, there were no more than 20 people vying for a spot in the pool. ‘Is it cold?’ I asked, bracing myself for freezingcold water. But of course, the water was warm. The pool had been out, in the sun, all day. All week. All summer.
I stood on my knees in the shallow end, holding on to petrified Percy who probably doesn’t remember the last time he was immersed in a swimming pool. While the cautious Hen tiptoed around. Gradually, Percy realized he loved being in the water and could touch the bottom of the shallow end with his toes.
More mother-guilt. ‘I should have done this months ago’ coupled with the realization that the pool would be closing for the summer in six days.
Would have, could have, didn’t. But for seventy glorious, teeth-chattering minutes on Tuesday night, we immersed ourselves in the best summer has to offer*.