6/19/06

Swimming Lessons (and more)





The blank page...so much space to fill, and I have a mind to fill it! First let me introduce the three handsome guys in the picture. They are my husband, Michael, my firstborn son Jack (5), and Andrew (18 months). This was taken on Father's Day at Gulf Shores. The time it took me to take some snapshots was the most time we had on the beach due to the weather this weekend. (Tip: cloudy days usually make the best for taking pictures outside...no squinting and good lighting.) It is just ironic how the weather is always gorgeous, for us anyway, when we are leaving the beach! As we made our turn North on Hwy 59, the sun came out gloriously to share its sky with white cotton candy clouds. Inspite of the weather, Michael had a happy Father's Day as you can see by the smiles in this photo.

I don't intend to write a history of my life, I'd rather like to just tell you about today. Today was the first day of Jack's swimming lessons. This is his second Summer to take swimming lessons and he is very much improved from last year and his enthusiasm is through the roof! We got there early so he could poty and get slathered with sunscreen. We saw a few friends from church and school too. Then Jack spied his teacher from last year. He obviously didn't remember her name, but that didn't stop him from hollering out at her across the pool while waving his arms around, "HEY! I'M BACK!" To my surprise, she said, "Hey Jack! See you in a minute!"

So it is, just about everywhere I go Jack sees someone he knows and he always enthusiasticly greets them. You know how we adopt this attitude as we get older that we hope we don't run into anybody we know? Well, not so with Jack! Admittedly, I have been guilty of such a terrible attitude in the past. However, this lesson I've learned from moving to Mobile after living in the same town all but 4 years of my life: It stinks to never run into anyone you know! I used to cry and pray that one day I would be able to go somewhere in this small to medium size town and see someone, ANYONE, that would kindly recognize and greet me.

Ten years, nope--13 years later, and I am happy to say that I usually do see someone I know when I go out. Wal-Mart on Schillinger may as well be the Grand Central Station of West Mobile; you are bound to see at least a half dozen aquaintances even if you're just running in for milk and diapers. It seems to me that our busy pace and self consciousness keep us from greeting someone we know, or someone we don't. You do it too don't you? Yep, I know, you see them an aisle or two over and dodge grocery cart traffic and go the other way because you "don't have time" or "oh, I'll die if someone sees me like this!"

I did that once when Jack was old enough to talk but not old enough to know the weird nuances of society and I took a turn off the aisle I was going down to avoid an encounter and he sweetly hollers out "HEEEEYYYYY!!!!!" "Now that's how I ought to be," I thought to myself. I was given remembrance to how I used to long to see a familiar face. So, if you see me around town and dodge me...watch out, I might see you first and holler out "HEEEYYYY! How are you?"

By the way, this is how I have let myself off the hook so to speak, about feeling under-dressed just to run a quick errand with the boys. Now that we live West of Schilinger...West of Snow even...I have adopted this method of operation (MO): If I'm just going to the Winn Dixie at Airport and Snow it's shirt + shoes = service! If I am going East of Snow but no further than Schilinger, I'm ok to do light makeup and "Mommy-casual" dress. Just enough to look dressed, you know the basics: powder; mascara; and lipstick. However, if I'm going into town or across the Bay to the Eastern Shore, well, that calls for full hair and makeup!

Anyway, Jack did great at his first lesson this morning. There are 6 kids in the class, 5 boys and 1 girl. Jack is one of two five year-olds and the others are all 6 & 7 years old. Today the teacher just reviewed the basics with them and had them do a few different things so she could see what each child's skill level was. Jack was able to do everything that was asked of him; I could see him smiling so big after each of his turns! He is getting so big! I'm so proud!

I'll say this though, I had to douse that feeling that comes up in me every now and then when I see some other child Jack's age or younger doing something more advanced than what Jack is doing. This is what I mean: A friend's child who is within a year younger than Jack, was at the pool for swim team and dive team practice! He was doing great and I couldn't believe what all he could do. Well, Jack saw him too and applauded his friend's skills and was just glad to see him. For a moment, a very thin moment, I was thinking, "Jack could do that! Should I have Jack in the swim team/dive team class?" My answer came fast and sure: nope. He is doing great where he is and there will be time for that soon enough!

I'm sure I'm not alone in having had that kind of moment before. By the way, perspective came to me just after that moment; the little boy I saw diving is the youngest of 4! He is doing what his older siblings are doing because that's how that goes isn't it? It seems that my youngest son is ready to grow up even faster than his big brother did at his age! Give me that remote Adam Sandler, I'm ready to hit pause and enjoy these fleeting days of childhood! They pass even faster than the sweet days of Summer!