The pool is not very busy this morning, so I'll probably get some time to read.
Sometimes I feel bad about reading at the pool while all those young mom's chase their little one's. I remember being there...
Though I really did enjoy swimming with the kids, I couldn't help feeling just a little covetous of the mom who could actually read something while her charges ran virtually unsupervised. I know you've seen her, she's the one who walked through the pool gate without five heavy bags of floaties, swim diapers, sunscreen, pool toys and snacks upon her shoulders. She's the one who laid her fluffy, spa-like, beach towel (void of any cartoon character) upon her lounge and sipped on an ice cold Diet Coke, without having to share. I don't know if you noticed, but the bottom of her bathing suit isn't shredded from sitting on the edge of the pool. She probably goes to the bathroom alone too.
Yes, I envied her, my rosy glasses all askew.
Somehow, in a whirlwind of seasons and change flown in on a wing and a prayer, I've become her, that woman I thought so lucky back then. Who knew that a decade comes in measured days, and hurried years? And here I am: My towel more Target-clearance than spa-like. This side of the lounge feels different than I assumed it would be. It's not at all bad (I really enjoy my teenagers), but it isn't as romantic either.
I'll admit, that first summer I realized I could sit poolside and read was pretty awesome. It was nice to be able to relax; to let my guard down (just a bit) when I knew my children would be wise about water safety. But truthfully, it can be a lonely place as well. What I failed to realize was my years of being in the pool, would be far less than the years I'd sit out.
Here's the thing, when you've got little ones, there is always another busy mama to chat with poolside, even if the conversations are in fits and starts. Young children bring women together. You've got sisters to congratulate and commiserate with; there's a knowledge that you're tired, but you're not alone.
When you get to my stage of the parenthood game, most moms don't stick around. They drop the kids off and run. Occasionally, I do this too, but my preference is to be there as much as I can. The teenage world of string bikinis and hormones makes the Chaperone in me content to stay. But the People Person in me is learning to enjoy the (reading) time alone when my friends cannot stay.
So, if could go back 10 years and give myself some advice I guess I'd say: Kellie, the pool isn't any clearer on the other side of the deck. Enjoy this exhausting time of chasing children, because the summers aren't many, and go all too soon. There will be plenty of time for poolside reading, more than you'll ever need.