Our neighborhood pool opened on Saturday. So far we’ve clocked a good seven hours there, and that’s not even counting today; we aren’t going until Wonderboy gets up from his nap. We really shouldn’t be going at all until we make tomorrow’s planned excursion into town for new swimsuits: my kids have been a pretty ragtag bunch at poolside this weekend. Jane’s suit is too small, and the other two girls wore out their suits through almost-daily use last winter. And I don’t mean at a pool: I mean right here at home. I don’t know what it is about a swimsuit that gets my kids so excited, but all winter Beanie and Rose kept wanting to get into their suits and “go swimming” on my bed. Maybe they were inspired by my blue comforter.
They’d swim for hours, burrowing under the sheets and calling it diving. They fished for the stray socks that always seem to accumulate at the foot of my bed. (This drives my husband nuts—the accumulation of socks, that is, not the girls fishing for them. What can I say? I go to bed with cold feet. Sometime in the night they must warm up and I guess I kick them off. Whenever I change the sheets, socks go flying everywhere. Or they did, until the swimming game started.)
My pillows are the diving board, and this has not been great for the pillows nor the bedsprings. But there’s no denying it’s great for the kids. They’re in their own blue heaven, two little Esther Williams minus the bathing caps. You can almost hear the soundtrack of cheerfully splashy music behind them. They float, they thrash, they chat with fish. They dance with mermaids and they shriek at sharks. They adorn themselves in seaweed (more socks) and take rides on passing whales.
The last time it rained, they spent the whole afternoon this way. Later, after dinner, I called them in to take a bath. Their faces fell.
“Do we HAVE to?” wailed Beanie. “Baths are boring. There’s nothing to do!”
I guess the sharks only live in the bedroom.
From the Archives: Thanksgiving
Giving New Meaning to the Phrase “Dad Needs to Stop Bringing His Work Home with Him”
The Sisters Have Spoken