Thursday, June 26, 2014

Of Splash Pads and Swimming Pools

Reality hit hard the day I returned home from my girl's trip. As a token of their appreciation, our insurance agency rented out a nearby aquatics center and invited their clients up for a fun family night out. I had been looking forward to this (free!) outing up until the night before where I pulled an "all nighter" with my friends; at which point the idea sounded completely awful. Needless to say, we went anyway.

 That particular day, as a whole, represents the current chapter of life I'm living. There was a deep sense of joy returning home to my children but attached to that happiness were inescapable feelings of exhaustion. And while this sounds like a fair description of life with a newborn, it currently applies. My daily physical exhaustion isn't that sharp. However, I do feel tired emotionally, and yes at times physically, from keeping up with the needs, wants, changes in moods, etc... of my kids. There's a lot going on! There's always, at least, five really good reasons why I shouldn't be taking a personal time out. There's a long list, in my brain, of things that probably should be happening but aren't... and the guilt attached to that is super annoying.

BUT... (gee, I sure hope I can articulate these feelings clearly), in general, when I don't let the stress of life swallow me whole, there is happy hum of contentment in my chest. It lives there. As I watch my children return to their sandbox again and again or watch as Forrest quickly toddles to his Dad after he's returned home from work, that hummmmm grows louder. I feel it as I listen to my children chat with each other and share their awesome, yet consistently strange, opinions with each other at the dinner table; even if making dinner robbed me of having time to do anything else productive.When Forrest is closing in on a dangerous staircase and Henry swoops in to protect him from the possible dangers without being asked, my happiness soars. Watching the kids chase our bunnies in the backyard, listening to them greet their Grandparents and kissing their super messy faces at bedtime (because bath time didn't, but probably should have, make that day's list of priorities) heightens that hum. I'm tired, overwhelmed and blissfully content. The combination doesn't make much sense.

Returning to our visit to the aquatics center, yes I was remarkably tired. However, I had a grand time with my kids. Andrew (wisely) opted to stay out of the water with the baby. We'd anticipated that Forrest would get in, but there was a strong wind that night that froze us to the bone whenever we exited the pools. This left me with the job of playing with the big kids. And I seriously loved it.
Other pool related adventures have been more low key. Although, there's a lot that goes into throwing together a "swim bag" these days. The time involved sun screening four kids and keeping them all safely afloat isn't always easy-peasy, lemon squeezy. Thankfully, most of our trips to the pool have been down at my Mom's neighborhood pool. Without her, my kids wouldn't be getting much use out of their swim suits!

Last Saturday, Andrew was able to join us for the first time this season. Despite the fact that he's entirely more relaxed than I am (which turns me into a nervous ninny), we really loved having him swim with us.     

As for the splash pad, we've been there once. Eliza was in between a day camp activity and a play date when we went, so she was still in her clothes. That didn't stop her from getting wet! My big camera is under the weather at the moment, so I hope you're enjoying the stellar quality of my iphone pics. I'm working on it. Here's to many return trips to the pool!

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