Today officially marks the end of the 2009-2010 school year, meaning my poor wife will now have four heathens to entertain, keep safe, and prevent from breaking stuff each and every day. I would feel sorry for the poor Puddinette, but she seems to like it; her head is filled to bursting with fun summer activities for the family. I enjoy most of that activity business about as much as I like helping strangers with calculus while simultaneously doing my income taxes and filling out life insurance forms.
So, you know, not a whole lot.
The Puddinette has managed to get me back into the pool, though, which is something I had previously thought impossible. My swimming card was fully punched years ago, and I haven’t been much interested since them.
Of course, there was time, ‘lo the many years ago, when I enjoyed a summer day full of splashing in the pool as much as the next kid. These are back in the days of youth, of course, when I was 11 or 12. My dad, who was a teacher and high school volleyball coach, would mostly be off during the summer. In the early part of the season, he would hang around the house and do constructive things (which were always approached with the wrong tool for the job, but that’s another post). As the months wore on, though, and the new school year crept closer, he would start coaching volleyball practices every day and generally need to get ready for the upcoming year.
Mom had an office job, which meant working year round, cursed like most everyone else. And for the record, by the way, being the only member of a household stuck going to work when everyone else isn’t is official undesirable. Knowing that your family is kickin’ it with a tall, cool pitcher of lemonade and a wet slip-and-slide while you’re giving The Man his hours just plain, well, sucks. Seriously, if I was given the choice of doing something incredibly tedious and painful in exchange for a full summer vacation, I’d absolutely pluck every single one of my body hairs out manually without thinking twice about it.
Anyway, so mom was at work during volleyball practice, which meant that my two brothers (one older, one younger), my younger sister (the youngest, and every bit the spoiled only-daughter, I don’t care what she tells you*) and myself had to be given an activity near where practice was held. Luckily, the school where Dad worked had a swimming pool, and every day offered public swimming from 1-3. Big fun right? Yes, absolutely, except. See, my precious little sister was only about 5 at this time, and wasn’t such a huge fan of being abandoned in the water. I suppose I can understand, now, three decades later, but back then, I wanted to see how long I could hold my breath, dive to the bottom of the deep end, or jump off the diving boards. I did NOT want to be towing my sister about.
My sister, though, wanted to choke…er…cling to my neck for dear life, for two full hours. Sure, she could swim by herself, but she wasn’t a big fan of being left alone in the shallow end. And, for the unaware, the unholy ruckus an upset five or six year-old little girl can make in a public swimming environment is not to be underestimated. So I spent part of a summer or two with my sister draped around my shoulders like a cloak in the high school’s swimming pool. For some reason, after that, I never much wanted to go swimming.
Ironically, I’m finally looking forward to pool visits again, just in time for my daughter to want to drape herself around my neck so she can go into the deep-end with the older boys and me. Things, as they so often do, have come full circle.
*Just poking some fun, there, little sister. You turned out alright after all. 😉