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Enjoying Summer Time With Kids

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We were at the pool last week and a new family to the neighborhood was there. I watched them for awhile. It was mom, dad, grandparents, and 4 small kids probably ages 7 and under. They rolled in with huge floats and big bags and all the stuff that accompanies a trip to the pool with small kids. But what I noticed the most was the mom. She was miserable. She never once smiled or laughed. She yelled, she snapped, and she huffed. It hurt my heart to watch her and it broke my heart to watch her kids.

I get it. I was her a few years ago. It was like watching my past through a mirror. I remember those days clearly. I remember bringing 4 kids to the pool when they were all very young and only 1 could swim. I remember being in a constant state of panic trying to keep up with 4 kids and make sure nobody was drowning. I remember dreading days at the pool and being ready to leave 10 minutes after arriving. Oh, I remember. 

I wanted to tell her that it’s just a stage. That it gets better. That soon she will enjoy these days. What I didn’t want to tell her is what everyone always told me. “You’ll miss these days so enjoy them”. Because, no. I don’t miss those days. I don’t miss the sheer panic of those 30 seconds where you can’t see one of your kids in the pool. I don’t miss the huge bags and floats and stuff that you need to lug around. I don’t miss those things. 

Watching her made me realize how long ago those days were. I lounged on a pool chair with a new book on my Kindle sipping a watermelon lemonade while my kids swam and played. All of my kids can swim now and can swim well enough that I don’t need to be within arms reach of them. They also play together without fighting and genuinely enjoy each others company most of the time. I feel like I’ve graduated to a whole new stage of life. And I love it. I love it a lot. And it’s a great feeling to love your life. 

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