Monday, April 30, 2012

Hanging Out in the Shallow End

In a moment of unjustified optimism a while back, I promised my kids I would take them swimming. For some reason, at just that moment I thought that I was perfectly capable of taking four small children - none of whom have yet had swimming lessons - to the pool by myself. So when they begged to go to the pool, I said yes. Not convinced that I would follow through, they pressed me to set a specific date that we would go swimming. After some calendar juggling, I picked Saturday, April 28th as the big day. And believe me, Haley is perfectly capable of tracking the upcoming date on a calendar and reminding me (and her brothers) daily of when the date would arrive. So there was really no getting out of it.

And as the date got closer, I was wishing for a way to get out of it. I was really starting to wonder about my ability to manage all the kids without having one of them take off to the deep end on me. Then the day before the big day, I came down with a nasty cold. Plus I had a lot of work that I needed to get done over the weekend. I really felt like just staying home all day in my sweats and letting the kids run wild while I worked on my presentations. But there was Haley, reminding me that tomorrow was the day I promised to take them swimming. And there were three sets of big blue eyes shining with excitment at the upcoming trip to the pool (Rylen didn't know or care about the upcoming activity). *sigh* I wasn't going to get out of this one.

Saturday morning arrived... and I realized something exciting. Aaron had too many hours at work. And he had to stay late to host a recital Saturday night. Which meant he wasn't going to work until 2:00 p.m. Which meant if I moved our plans for an afternoon swim to a morning swim, I could have another adult with me on this adventure! Aaron took a bit of persuading. (I believe his exact response when I broached the idea was a groan and: "I was afraid you'd think of that.") But after some pretty pleasing on my part, he gave in and we took off for the rec center.

We had fun at the pool. The kids really enjoyed splashing around and playing on the slides. Rylen liked playing with the fountains - though I really thought he'd enjoy it more than he seemed to, given his love of bathtime. It was probably just the strangeness of it and he'll like it more the next time. Preston started eyeing the BIG waterslide as soon as we got there and was convinced that he wanted to ride it. We warned him that it would move pretty fast and that at the end, he would probably have to go all the way underwater, but he was sure that he wanted to try it. So I agreed to take him down the slide (he's too little to go on his own). Brekken and Haley clamored go with me next, but he got to go first since it was his big idea. We climbed the stairs and from the top he looked down with wide eyes: "Wow! We're really up high!" And then he looked at the rushing water heading down the slide: "Wow! That's really fast!" I double-checked... are you sure you want to do this? And he looked at me and exclaimed: "Yes! This is so exciting!"

So I sat down with him between my legs, we pushed off, and away we went! And you know, that water WAS really fast. Quite a bit faster than I had expected it to be, actually. I tried to brace my feet against the side of the slide to slow us down just a little, and had absolutely no success. So I just held on to Preston a little tighter and accepted that we were going to go down fast. I warned him... "We're going so fast, I'm sure we're going to go under water at the end, so be prepared to hold your breath." And as we rounded the last turn, I told him: "Take a big breath now - here we go!" And it dumped us into the pool. Under we went. I had hold of Preston around the waist and I pushed him up ahead of me. I could feel his head break the surface a little ahead of mine. I came up for air and there he was... sputtering, shaking water off his face, and eyes huge with shock.

"Are you ok?" I asked.


"Was that fun?"


"Do you want to go again?"

"No way!!"

Haley and Brekken had watched us go down the slide and go under at the end... they both opted out of a trip down the big slide and decided to stick with the kiddie slide for now. LOL

It really was a great morning. Aaron even had fun and said he'd be willing to do it again. And having done it once with company, I really think next time I CAN do it on my own. Especially since the most complicated part was getting everyone changed from street clothes to swimsuits and back. (Why is changing clothes such a difficult task? It's not like they've never done it before.) That part will be easier once summer is fully here and I can have everyone go to the pool already in their swimsuits and leave still in their swimsuits... they can drip-dry on the way home.

(And a nice side benefit to this little excursion... I had been having back troubles again and that morning had a hard time even bending down enough to pick up the baby. A couple of hours in the nice warm pool and my back muscles stopped spasming! The whole rest of the day I was able to bend and twist easily... it was great! That alone is enough to convince me to take the kids back to the pool.)

1 comment:

Tera said...

I think the first time I took 4 kids to the pool alone I hadn't realized how scary it would be...and that I was alone, until I was already there. Then I had a little panic moment, got over it, and we had a great time! I loved the slide story!