Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Pool Hunnies

Recently my sister, her husband and her children came to visit. Having chosen to delay their vacation to San Diego due to the swine flu (and the children's current colds and weakened immune systems), they decided to visit for a day or two during the time they would have been on vacation. Since they had promised the kids lots of swimming time while on vacation, they chose to stay at Little America, a downtown hotel with an indoor/outdoor swimming pool, rather than with us. Completely ok by me, since that meant we also got to enjoy the swimming pool with them for free!

Unfortunately two of the three children did not take too well to the swimming pool. Scoob and D.C. - formerly known as "Cupcake" - (my sister's kids) cried and clung to their parents' necks the entire time we were in the swimming pool, despite the fact that they both had life jackets on. I don't know what about the pool they were frightened of, except maybe the depth. Though I'm sure it couldn't have been too cold for them, as it was really very warm water (though I don't believe that pool is heated). I was also pretty sure this was not their first time in a swimming pool, but I could have been wrong about that. They were fine when allowed to go in the hot tub, but just did not like the pool. They even did not enjoy themselves when their parents took them past the divider and into the outdoor portion of the pool. Though it being a very nice evening, even on the warm side, and being in a swimming pool outside at night, they did calm down and look around. At one point I thought maybe they would start to enjoy themselves, but that didn't actually happen.

Sweetpea, on the other hand, LOVED it. Absolutely LOVED it. She had so much fun playing in the water, "swimming" on my and my husband's backs and going to the outdoor portion of the pool. She even allowed us to help her float on her back for a while, and began trying to swim from me to my husband without help.
(Yes, I know, you don't have to tell me. We really need to get her into swimming lessons. I'm working on it.) At one point she borrowed Scoob's life jacket, and had a blast paddling around the pool without any help from mom and dad - though she never wandered too terribly far from us. She even asked me to swim UNDER the divider into the outdoor portion of the pool with her on my back. I tried. Really I did. I don't know whether it was my concern that she would forget to hold her breath the whole way, or whether it was the surprise of how very difficult it was to swim underwater with a five-year-old on my back, but I didn't make it. I couldn't get down deep enough to swim under the very long, weighted divider, which actually sits just about a foot and a half above the bottom of the pool. I was very surprised to find when we surfaced that Sweetpea was not choking or sputtering, and wanted me to try again. I told her some other time, and instead we just pulled the divider aside and I walked around it (on tip-toes, since that is the deepest part of the pool). She continues to remind me often of our attempted underwater trip: "Mom, remember when...."

As for me, I really enjoyed the outdoor portion of the pool. I spent quite a chunk of time floating on my back, my ears under the water to enjoy near perfect silence, gazing up at the full, bright moon and few visible stars, and contemplated the many struggles and concerns in my life. I found myself inspired by that moon, and began to think in creative, poetic and literary ways. I felt happy and sad, guilty and innocent, on top of the world and beneath it, all at the same time. Truly an odd state of mind to be in, though the escape from reality, however brief, did me good. The feeling stayed with me for the rest of the evening, even through a dip in the hot tub, a good long shower at home, and an exhausted collapse into bed. Unfortunately I did not take the time to stop and write any of the things I was thinking or feeling. Really too bad, since in such a state of mind I might have been able to give Hemingway and Keats a run for their money. Ok, not really. But it was nice thought, nonetheless.

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