It’s hot and all around me kids are splashing water. We leave the baby pool area, and I jump into the three foot deep water in the big pool, immediately followed by my toddler jumping into my chest. He does this over and over and over again for the next 45 minutes until my arms are rubbery from lifting him out of the pool. It’s finally time for a break and we relax on our towels for a snack.
As my three older boys grab juice pouches and snacks from the swim bag, I scan the pool area. I jealously eye the moms who are lying in the sun, eyes closed or reading the latest juicy best seller. Their tans are perfect and their bodies are toned. No little people are clinging to them, saying, “Again! Again!” and hurling their flailing, wet bodies full force into their waiting arms. I long to be one of those moms whose kids are old enough to swim and play on their own. No constant watchful eyes, no arms’ length distance, no water spots on my sunglasses. Even the older boys want me to ride tandem with them down the tube water slide, just so I can hold on to them.
Though, I know all too soon no one will want me to play with him. My boys will grow to be tweens and teens who will just want to be with their friends, who will try to escape my watchful eyes, and will want me to stay a good distance away at all times. That is, of course, unless they need a meal or clean clothes or some pocket money. And then I’m sure I will long for those days of, “Again! Again!” I will want to hold on as tight as I can, and a few hours alone in the sun will seem lonely without all the chaos, noise, shouts, and hugs.
Later that night I am hugging my toddler close, burying my face into his bushy hair, made straw-like from a day’s worth of sun and chlorine. We are staring out at the water and he is peaceful. Soon he drifts off to sleep in my arms.
I decide that I’m in no hurry to let this go. I like that my boys want me right now. As any mother knows, they grow up so fast and grow out of this stage.
My time will come some day for lounging and reading and tanning. Besides, I really like the water slides. I think I can hold on a little longer.