Tuesday, September 03, 2013

Shutting it Down

 The view from the deep end.

Sunday was our last day at the pool. We went with our best friends for Sunday Picnic Dinner, a several-years tradition among the group of families we hang out with the most and love the best. Because it was only 73 degrees and windy, not to mention Labor Day weekend, everyone else opted not to join us, but my BFF and I (and our combined four girls) are hardcore about the pool. We were committed to going with our families and shutting the place down.

Which is exactly what we did, saying goodbye to summer in the most fitting way: by spending its next-to-last hours at the place we only half-jokingly referred to as our "second home" this summer. (I said to her, "Seriously, don't you feel like you spent your entire summer at three places: home, the pool, and Target?")

You guys, it was an epic pool summer with my kidlets and their best buddies. We went to the pool almost every day. We spent hours and hours there, watching the girls jump off the diving board with their silly actions and antics and try the climbing wall again and again, supervising their deep-end endeavors, eating countless picnic lunches and dinners, sitting on the edge of the pool having heart-to-heart convos about mothering and marriage and life (not to mention lighter conversations about running, cute clothes, snacks, shoes, and which other dads we have (harmless) crushes on from afar). (My lips are sealed.)

  With pal Lucy at the climbing wall

All four girls


Happy pool gang

It was a summer of dramatic growth and change. We started out in the second section of the pool, where even Vivi could touch if she stood on her tiptoes. But before long, we had made the leap to the deep, deep end---way around the corner and down in an area that had always seemed very far away and the domain of other moms with older kids.

My view at the beginning of the summer. See how far away the deep end is?

Genevieve and buddy Lucy--in the deep end

Now we were (are) those moms. By the end of the summer I hardly remembered being back at the shallow part of the pool where I'd just spent some five or six summers, hoisting babies and catching toddlers jumping off the side and watching, watching, watching the tricks and tries of preschoolers and early-school-agers. Now they're 7 and 9, and proficient swimmers, and I can sit on the deck chairs overlooking the water and observe.

I miss the pool already, and that's because it represents summer to me, and all the hours and days I get to spend with my girls during the warm season off from school. It's the home and holder of many summer memories of these girls when their bodies were smaller and less capable, rounder and more babyish--and of the memories of this summer, when we just had so much fun.

When the lifeguards click-clacked the plastic lounge chairs down and we went out the pool gate at six o'clock on Sunday night, my BFF and I were beset with nostalgia and tears. Because is there anything better, for a mom, than all the happy memories of summers spent with your kiddos under the sun, happy and hot, laughing and living only in the moment? I can think of nothing.

Onward. A full school year awaits us, and we'll be fine. And the pool will be there, waiting for us, next June.

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