“Where did the big girl come from?” We say it a lot these days.
The sun was bright and hot while we were at the pool yesterday. I kept one eye on G and the other on K while Tim and Ben went down the big S-shaped slide. Everyone is braver this year. Ben loves the slide, G puts his face under the water without a problem and K is fine without a floatie.
But I still watch and worry and try to keep them in my sight at all times, scanning for light blue goggles and dark blue goggles and purple goggles.
There are kids everywhere diving under and hollering, “mom!” and wearing goggles of all colors.
I don’t see K and my heart starts to pound. The first place I look is under the water but I do not see her. I stand upright and scan the splash pad area and when I do not see her pink paisley suit there, I desperately look towards the toddler pool. There she is making friends.
I didn’t even know where she got the goggles that she came back with, as Tim and I were looking at each other with questioning in our eyes.
“Baby, where did you get those goggles?”
“The bag, Mom!”
She is no longer a “baby” at all. Why in the world do I even call her that?
She had gotten out of the pool, went straight over to our swim bag and gotten them herself. She is no baby. And she wants to be just like her brothers and wear goggles.
I suddenly get a glimpse of the future – they are all at the pool without me or with me just there to be there, not to supervise or worry or watch. Just to see them with much longer legs, diving and jumping and splashing. I read a book, barely looking up. They come to me for money for the snack bar and that is it…
Each summer goes faster and each year they get bigger and need me less. It is good but it is also hard to realize. I am glad not to have to sit in the toddler pool the entire time but I miss the baby chub poking out of bathing suits. Tim says to me “they are fine” but I am still their mother and know that the lifeguards cannot possibly see everything.
Someday they will all swim on their own. I know…
Yesterday, as we were getting ready to leave I found an old, unused swim diaper in our bag….
I threw it in the trash bin as we dripped our way to the exit.