Children's joyful shouts drifted through the air. The slap of wet feet on pavement running to the diving board echoed throughout the fenced-in space. We claimed a small spot against the perimeter to leave our bag holding our towels and other essentials, removed our cover-ups and sandals, and prepared to enter the water.
Kyle was excited, but also reticent. As I descended the stairs into our town pool, he giggled, yet still clung to me with the death-grip of fear. The heavily chlorinated water was cloudy with chemicals and teeming with bodies: moms being held by toddlers and preschoolers (in varying degrees of death-grip), young children swimming to the side and jumping in, older children brushing my legs as they navigate the bottom of the pool.
Amanda found friends to talk with as they bobbed in the water. She tried out various poses as she leapt off the diving board again and again.
Kyle took small steps towards independence in the big pool, trusting me to break his fall as he grabbed my hands to jump in. Then we tried the baby pool. It was warm--too warm due to the several days of super-90 degree weather. He tried out kicking in this safe environment, knowing that he could sit and walk at any time. We watched Amanda jump from the diving board again and again, and his mind pondered the possibilities of that new venture.
For the first time in our four years here, I broke down and bought the family summer pass, instead of just expecting to pay the day fee once or twice for the year. Our schedule is pretty open this year, and I'm going to try to be more open with my time as well.
It was crowded; it was noisy. I got splashed (and gripped). It would not be my choice to spend an hour and a half in this venue, but it wasn't as bad as I expected either. There are worse things in life than spending your evening at the town pool with two excited kids. There are better ones, too, but I'll brave the crowds and chemicals and clinging again soon. . . in the name of love.