Beautiful Monsters

Beautiful Monsters
Beautiful Monsters

Monday, August 13, 2012

Reflecting at the Pool

There is something bittersweet about going to the pool with my boys.
When they were littles, we went to the pool all the time. They swam WITH me, and we played games and sang songs and I gave them rides and they were all cute and adorable and their whole lives were a huge mystery, waiting to be played out.
Now, I sit and watch them play with their friends and check out girls and how their muscles compare to the other teen-aged boys’ and laugh and have fun and generally not NEED me for much, except to hold the electronics and provide the snacks and laugh at the stories they run over to share and pretend to be annoyed when they splash me. BUT, I also watch the new littles with THEIR moms swimming in circles and playing games and jumping from the sides and Look-at-me-mom!-ing.
Don’t get me wrong, I love this time of their lives when they are teetering between childhood and adulthood and their lives are defining themselves and now THEY know all about their potential and it is awesome and scary and funny and joyful all at the same time. I love being able to hear their ideas and observations and enjoy who they are today, and those hints, glimpses, sneak peaks of who they will be yet.
But I want to reach out to those moms, the young ones checking the clock to see if it is time to go home yet, and tell them, just blink. And you will be here, amazed at how hairy your babies got, and thinking about how short time is, and wishing someone wanted to play ring around the rosy or jump to you one more time! And I know they have heard it before and they THINK they understand, because I had, and I did. I also know that it is something you can’t know, until you are past the time when you were learning it.
It is amazing. I Love Every Minute of It. (Except for the bickering on the ride home. That, not so much. But all of the rest of it.) But it is bittersweet. And it makes me wonder who *I* will be in six years, when there aren’t anymore hairy, taller-than-me babies running around. Maybe I am sitting on that edge of potential too, still yet to discover who the new me will be, and what I will do and how it will be to be just me, instead of we. I know I don’t want to go back and do the diapers and napping (except for me. I like naps for me.) and raising kids using the trial-and-error method. Except for sometimes, somedays. I wish I could step back, just for a moment, to those chubby, sticky, little kid days, that smelled like peanut butter and dirt instead of shaving cream and Axe. Bittersweet.