I love when people do things in unison. 7th Inning Stretch, Praying, a 5K...
Swimming together, I do not love.
And this is why:
As I prepare for the pool I first check myself to see if everything is properly shaved, then I pick out which unflattering suit I am going to put on, then which cover-up I can use to... cover. it. up. Then I have to put on the sunscreen. Everywhere. And it smells, its greasy and I know that I will have to reapply it in an hour or 2.
Repeat twice with the Posse.
As I drive to the pool I think about all of the other unflattering bathing suits that will inevitably show up, the hair on everyone else that will remain unshaved, the wide array of tattoos (Today's winner: Only God Judges Me). I think about STD's, menstrual periods, pee in the pool, poo hiding in kids butts (including my own kids), yeast infections, floating band-aids, dead bugs, tree debris (after a storm), strong (it better be) chlorine, bedbugs, lice, and my kids inability to swim...water in my ears.
And then as I remove my flip-flops and walk barefoot on the fungal, bacteria-laden, feet-from-all-over-Queens-have-walked-this, deck, the giant SWITCH in my brain is turned to the off position, and I get in the pool.
Yesterday I found a spot with a very strong spray. I massaged my feet one after the other for quite a while. Then I got hot, and remembered why I hate the pool. Heat, heat, and more heat, wondering if my sunscreen is working, if the kid's sunscreen is working, and then my thoughts are interrupted by a kid jumping in RIGHT next to where I am sitting---really? It's an Olympic-size pool....as this exact scenario repeats over and over, I turn the irritated switch off, because, I get it...it's a pool, kids are going to jump in...ok...ok...
And then I lose site of Lolly and I immediately watch for kids under the water drowning and every time I see a body under, lingering for a few seconds my heart leaps into my throat, and after 3 of those and 3 "calm-down-you'll-find-her" talks, the mom next to me who I have recruited to look, finds her. And then I am just pissed at the dumb kid who distracted me in the first place with guess what question:
"Why are you afraid to get in?"
"I'm not afraid. I just don't like the pool."
"Why don't you like the pool?"
"I just don't."
Then, as I find my not-drowned child, she has moved in and stolen my foot-massager.
But. My kids had such a great time. In the pool, they move in different ways, testing their strength, spreading their limbs, inventing games, performing magic, taking risks. And they are joyful, confident, expressive. I feel so glad that I gave them a few hours in the pool today, and so bad that I gave them my butt, but! at this age, theirs are still cute.
YES, I still hate the pool.