Tuesday, May 30, 2017

Just Jump

Remember when you were a kid and you didn't care whether or not the pool was cold? And you just saw that sparkling water, revved up and jumped in without a second thought?

Yeah. Neither do I.

What I do remember is my mom, grandmother, aunt, dad...anyone, really, over the age of 20, telling me it was cold and not to rush them getting in the pool. Not to get them wet before they were ready. And I get it. Because cold water feels like Satan now that I am an adult.

There have been some videos and articles circulating lately, encouraging women to just stop caring and put on their bathing suits and have fun, for goodness sake. To stop worrying about what they look like and just BE.

And I think those are great. I have friends who struggle deeply with body image. Who hate bathing suit season. Who would threaten your life if you aimed a camera in their direction at the pool. (I am not naming names NOR am I saying this did or did not happen to me just yesterday.)

But I don't really know what that feels like during this phase of life, to be honest. I don't mind putting on a suit if it's high cut enough at the top. My main worry is a wardrobe malfunction that would leave people emotionally scarred. Not all bathing suits were created to parent spirited toddlers, for the love.

What I do struggle with is this: old lady grumpiness.

You know what I want? To sit on the side of the pool, dry, rather than freezing my patootie off in a frigid pool. To read a book for a whole hour straight with the sun beating down while I sip an iced coffee or chat with my friends. I want to RELAX.

I also want to be a good mom.

And it's clear that relaxation and toddlers are not possible at the same time, particularly around water hazards. Or, really, when they are awake.

So.

I woke up Monday morning and I knew we were heading back to the pool in a few hours. I knew my boys were going to want to spend 2 hours straight jumping in, climbing out and doing it all over again because it is exactly what they had done the two days before. I knew it was possible they would ask me to get in that water and not just be content with my pseudo-exercise role of bicep-curling them in a squat position out of the pool so they could jump back in to dad. They had asked me before and I had said no. I wasn't ready for that cold pool.

This time, though, I decided that, if asked, I would just jump.

I wouldn't stick my toe in first. I wouldn't creep, in infinitesimally painful increments, with a look of horror on my face, down the stairs.

I would just say yes. Just jump.

So, after about 20 minutes of bicep curling my two year old, my three year old looked me dead in the eye.

Jumping with Nate
"Mama, will you jump in with me?"
"Yes, bug, I will."
"Really??!!!! Let's do it together, Mama!"

Friends. I wish I could have captured that grin on film.  That toothy, thrilled, exhilarated, water-already-dripping-from-his-face grin. (My neighbor stealthily did manage to capture us jumping together without me knowing it, how cool is that?!)

Was that water cold? YEP.

Was it worth it? YEP.

That grin is going to carry me through every cloudy day when I want to stay on the side. Through every moment when I am carrying a grudge for how he has acted and don't WANT to go in the pool with him in retribution. That grin was pure magic.

I know I will fail to always follow through on this, but my summer goal is to "just jump". Just say yes when my boys ask me to do something that I might not WANT to do but that I know will be good for US.

To not, this summer, be a grumpy old lady.

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