Swimming Lessons: What I learned in my Pool

I decided to go in our pool this weekend. It was a big deal.

IMG_0586When we bought our house 3 years ago, a pool was pretty high on the priority list. We had a pool at our first house, and the boys and I swam constantly. I used it as a way to wear them out when they where little so they would take naps, or go to bed for the night. It was a great form of entertainment when they had friends over as well. It also made a great babysitter if I needed to sneak in a nap. Oh relax…I’m just kidding.  My point is, we spent a lot of time in the pool.

When we sold that house, we lived in a condo for a period of about 9 months before we bought the house we are in now. While we were looking, I remember saying, “We have to have a pool. I can’t have kids in Florida without a pool. What will we do in the summer?” So, we found a house with a pool. However, something happened in those 9 months at the condo. Something changed in the boys. They, outgrew the pool. Now, I don’t mean we had unusually large children, or a bathtub sized swimming pool. I mean…they no longer wanted to swim. “What? What do you mean you don’t want to swim?” It was mostly the older two. They were more interested in hanging out with their friends, riding skateboards, playing video games.

I felt bad for my youngest who still did want to go in the pool, but lost his swimming buddies. Swimming alone is not quite the owenpoolsame thing.

What…..Me?….No thank you. I just took a shower, and got dressed, and fixed my hair. We have a screen too, so the water is cold. Not my thing. Stop judging me.

The pool hasn’t gone completely unused. They will still go in when they have friends over. They did so more  in the first year we lived here. It gets less frequent the older they get. I miss the days of hanging out by the pool, little tan bodies in their suits, music playing. I miss the laughter that came from watching their tricks as they jumped in. I miss their little voices saying, “Mommy watch me!”. That’s probably why I decided to go out there today. I made up my mind to spend the day poolside, even though I was by myself. It will be relaxing, I thought. I’ll listen to music, maybe read a book.

Here was my reality.

I turn the music on. Towel is on lounge chair. Got in position with water close by. Sun is at right angle. Feeling good. Dogs find me. Dang it. Dogs lay down next to me. Start panting. Won’t stop panting. I throw a ball in the pool for dog to shut her up. She shakes water all over me. Sun goes behind cloud. Something smells bad. When was the last time the kids picked up the dog poop? I try to clear my mind and relax. The trees are so pretty. I’ll look at the trees. WOW. Look at how many leaves are on our screen. How in the world are we going to get those off? The neighbors german shepherd starts barking incessantly at the fence. My dog decides to join in. Then a chorus of crickets. They can almost drown out the dogs, that’s how loud they are. Are you kidding me? I tell myself to just focus on something else. So I turn my head, and focus on the aquarium that has been sitting on the pool deck for a month, the one my son uses to put lizards in that he catches, but now it is completely full of rain water, and tadpoles. And slime.  The one I have been telling him to dump out for weeks, before we have an army of frogs living in our pool. This isn’t working. Do I even know HOW to relax?

I decide to take the next step and actually get in the pool. Oh man. The water is cold. I’ll lay on this float. I don’t really wan’t to get pool floatwet. I stand on the step and try to calculate how to get my body on the float without actually touching the water. I end up doing this one legged hop thing. I believe there was a moment where my body was suspended in air, and I land on the float, centered, thankfully, with minimal seepage from the icy water below.  Success!

As I floated around the pool, gazing up at the blue sky and the lush trees (trying not to think about all the leaves they were dropping on my screen) I thought, this is actually really nice. Why don’t I do this more often? I’m even getting use to the water. It’s not so cold after all. From this angle, I can’t even see the algae filled aquarium, or “that corner” of the pool deck that desperately needs to be organized.

I stayed like that, my own little floating island, for about a half an hour. It was lovely. It was different from the times when the kids were young. There were no screaming little voices. No one jumping in around me and splashing. No one saying “watch me mommy!” I miss those days…but there was something nice about this too. In that short 30 minutes I spent floating under the sun, I learned something. I learned how to relax, and let go.

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