Tales From the Pool: The Deep End

From the deep freeze summer re-run series.  originally posted TUESDAY, JUNE 15, 2010

I have a baby book in which I carefully detailed each “first,” including all the typical ones like first tooth, first step, and so on.  It’s harder to keep track of the “lasts”; one day you just sort of realize,hey, I haven’t had to drive him anywhere in months, and then it kind of starts to sink in that somewhere in the busyness of life I must’ve spoon fed him, helped him dress, checked his homework, washed his jersey, dropped him off, watched his team play for the last time.
I was thinking about this yesterday while sitting by our pool, watching young mothers with toddlers bobbing around in water, trying to have a conversation with one another.IMG_2087
Meanwhile, Little was practicing her diving from the blocks and coolly assessing  some older middle school girls.  And I wondered when the last time was that I hadto get in the pool.  It’s been a few years, but for a while now I’ve been able to lounge and sun and read, getting in only when I wanted to cool off.  Admittedly, I have enjoyed sitting poolside leafing through magazines and glancing up only to count heads or to acknowledge a Momwatchthis moment.  Sure, occasionally I had to referee a disagreement over goggles or some such, but for the most part it was a blissful respite from the demands of the day.IMG_1876The Mister and I took Little to the pool late Sunday afternoon.  He, of course, jumped right in and swam and played and admired all her handstands, dives, and splashes.  I read.  When he came over to dry off and stretch out for a bit, he said, “She’s going to want you to come in.”  And I said, “Oh, I don’t think so, she hasn’t said anything,” and I began to think of reasons that I didn’t want to get all wet, namely that I needed to stop at the grocery on the way home. IMG_2086And then, she didn’t swim over to ask me to get in with her.  For a long time.  She was just fine.  Without me.  Finally, she glided over and said teasingly, “Why don’t you come in, Mommy?  Are you afraid to get your hair wet?”  I know, sadly, from experience, that I could have begged off and she would’ve shrugged and swam away, but I think I knew that if I didn’t go in this time, it might be the last time she invited me.

So, I walked to the edge of the deep end and jumped.Pool-Splash
I’ve had enough lasts for a while.


  1. Sweet! What a charming post. Thank you.

  2. Oh, Good for you!! That is so great and your daughter must have been surprised and very pleased. Your post makes me thing of Erma Bombeck and her essay on "If I Had My Life to Live Over". Great post.

  3. I am going through the same sort of thing. My son wants mommy and mommy doesnt have a wife so mommy doesnt always have time to splash in the pool then take another shower and do her hair all over again to go to do all the things mommies do to keep a family and household running!

    But...I found if I skip a day of swimming to get all the work done then I can swim without guilt and keep everyone happy. :O)

  4. Love this post, your final line about having had enough "lasts for a while" is so poignant. (The pictures are so wonderful!)

    Sending you a smile,

  5. I had a last this weekend and while I am not a mother, I can just imagine how you feel.

    I began taking my niece to the Harry Potter movies 10 years ago when she was 11. After we went to that first movie, we were both hooked, so that we would wait to hear when the next movie would come out. It got harder when she got older to schedule a time to go to dinner and the movie, but we would work it out.

    This Saturday we went to see the last Harry Potter movie and I found myself feeling a bit sad. For now my niece is 21 and will soon be out on her own and I not sure she will have time to go to the movies with her Aunt anymore!


  6. I am so enjoying your "from the deep freeze" posts!! This one tugged at the heart strings a bit. I am still one of the moms trying to manage my toddler who can barely touch in the shallow end and is a constant whirlwind of motion. I am not able to complete a sentence with another mother and I have moments when i wish I wasn't needed all the time. Reading this I am reminded that it won't be like that forever and to cherish this phase of life while it lasts. Not saying I won't cherish sitting pool side with a book too! Hope you are having a lovely, albeit busy, summer!! xo, Tessa


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