Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Living the Dream: Pool Mom

It's funny, there are so many milestones in parenting that sometimes I don't even realized when I've reached one until it's right there, in my face, and I'm caught by surprise.  Shopping for bras with my daughters was like that.  Today I had another, decidedly more pleasant, milestone moment.  I've become a pool mom.

For years, thirteen to be exact, I've envied those moms at the pool that sat quietly and undisturbed in their chairs, flipping through magazines and chatting.  Glistening and unhurried, they'd rise occasionally to take a dip in the pool or locate their children's heads bobbing happily above water surrounded by friends, laughing and playing.  Their children would come to them only for money or a dry towel and then they'd disappear for an undetermined period of time allowing their mother to return to her own relaxation.  To me, it was a blissful picture.

For the last thirteen years a trip to the pool has required the advanced planning and stamina mountain climbing expedition.  Getting floaties, towels, swimsuits, life jackets, sunscreen, sunglasses and snacks for everyone required what seemed like hours of preparation.  Even moving from the house to the car and from the car to the pool was a maneuver demanding persistence and constant vigilance.  Once at the pool, there was no resting for me because everyone needed me to "watch this" over and over and over again.  Even when I wasn't "watching this" I was still watching at least two out of four children to make sure they didn't drown.  Relaxation was not an option while at the pool.  I will admit that the benefit of a day at the pool was a quiet evening at home afterward when everyone was exhausted and I got my relaxation with a quiet dinner and early bedtime.

Today, all that changed.  I said, "Sure, we can go to the pool." and the only bathing suit I had to put on was my own.  All the towels I needed to take fit in one beach bag and no other items were required.  I carried the bag happily to the car.  The children were already in their seats, buckled and waiting.  Upon arrival, I happily sprayed everyone with sunscreen and settled on my chair with an audio book.  The children found their friends and scattered like waterbugs.  I kept a close eye on everyone but didn't feel that I needed to be within arms reach anymore.  I even enjoyed playing "watch this" for part of the afternoon.  I knew I'd truly arrived when the only time my children sought me out was to get permission to use the restroom and to see if I might be willing to pay for a slushee. 

I know there will be a lot of milestones with my children that I'll hold more dear; first smiles, first words, first steps, recitals, graduations, weddings.  Those, however, are all about them.  Being a pool mom is all about me and I'll savor it while I live the dream.


  1. As one who can't even GO to the pool this summer because my new babe is so young, I salute you! :-)

  2. I am so jealous! I still have to watch my youngest quite closely, and he is constantly asking me to look at him while he does some amazing pool trick. On the way home I look like a camel carrying all of the kid's pool toys. They are always so tired by then. I can't wait until I become a "pool mom"!