Our first trip to the pool this season was a success.
And let me define success for you: My 18-month-old son, who likes to explore and constantly be on the move, didn’t step, fall or dive into the pool. And my 4-year-old girl, who seemed to forget how much she loved swimming and jumping in the pool last summer, didn’t hold on to me for too long.
No, there aren’t any pictures to show for it.
Once we were there, I thought about how I wished I had my camera because Ben looked cute in his top-heavy outfit that has built-in flotation devices in the shirt that attaches to matching swim trunks. He was wearing that while sitting in an inflatable boat. I thought the built-in flotation devices would be good just in case he got too close to the edge.
So I had all that for Ben, plus Cate’s life jacket thing, three towels, my backpack with things that needed to stay dry, the bag of water toys, and an insulated bag with our lunch.
That’s why I forgot the camera.
While packing the bags this morning, I wondered — again! — how my mom took us all the places she did. We went swimming nearly every day in the summer and I have fond memories of annual beach vacations. I was 4 1/2 years old when my sister was born in 1983. And our brother is between us, 35 months younger than me and 19 months older than my sister.
Just this weekend, after making multiple trips from the dock to the lake house because somebody needed a nap or somebody wanted a snack, I asked my mom how she managed to get the three of us kids all the places she did. And I only have two kids. And they’re 30 1/2 months apart.
It was really a rhetorical question. I know how she did it. Sort of. She used a double stroller — and probably made sure I was holding her hand or walking really closely — when she took us to the pool. And she brought money for the concession stand. I’m sure she didn’t want to sit at home with three small kids.
It’s the same for me. But, again, I only have two kids, so it seems that I should have it a little easier. Maybe I do. Or perhaps it doesn’t matter how many kids are squeezed into however many years. Small kids require much attention, numerous swimming safety equipment and accessories, and multiple bags filled with snacks, sunscreen, diapers, wipes and drinks.
Regardless, I can pack the necessities in my sleep, although I do usually keep back-up outfits, diapers, wipes and sometimes even snacks in the stow-and-go compartments of my mini van. But occasionally I forget the camera, which nearly is a necessity in my world. Although I wonder if I would have been able to keep the camera dry, capture the emotions I want to remember and keep my kids from “sinking,” as Cate says, all at the same time.
Next time I’ll try to remember to try.