I am taking the kids to swimming lessons this summer. This is my first experience with the cheering from the bleacher role. It is not familiar territory. But the little local swimming pool feels more comfortable than a gymnasium or field.
Little Girl has become more confident in the water. The shallowest corner of the pool is well over her head. The four little preschool kids cling carefully to the side of the pool. She is the smallest kid there. But she loves the water in her own quiet shy way and reaps tons of extra attention for her cute.
Little Boy is the smallest in his class. And suddenly he can swim. My children are growing up quickly. Everyone in our small town knows Little Boy. And everyone remembers him. This is not the first place where people I had never met knew him by name, face, and voice.
I bring a notebook and pen and write out my To Do lists and shopping lists. I chat with the other mothers. Little Girl gets out of the pool and snuggles on my lap in her towel while we wait for Little Boy. She watches the big kids swim and dive. We watch at the end when they all get a turn to jump in. Her wet suit soaks through the towel and leaves my lap damp and itchy with chlorine.
It does seem that much of the time I am Little Boy’s Mom and she is Little Boy’s Sister. We prefer to be quiet and stick to ourselves. He can’t be silent for ten seconds and never lacks for an audience. And when he has finished swimming we pack our towels and say our good-byes and head home for dry clothes and oatmeal.