Sunday, June 28, 2009

Just Call Me Scarlett

I am odd. Either that, or eternally normal. But I've digressed already and I've just begun this post. I'll back up...

I've been out of town with Abby for a week. (A truly delightful trip but more on that another time.) When the sun sets this Thursday, the contents of my family's and my life will be packed into a moving van or our minivan. We will be without a homestead for one and a half months--we will vagabond across the country, heading to our new city. A fairly obvious statement follows:

I have a shit load to do.

And the three things that I've added to my to do list, the things that have to be done immediately?

1. Clip Henry's finger nails
2. Cut Abby's hair
3. Plan last minute birthday party for Abby

I'm simultaneously proud that I'm putting my children's needs on the top of my list and embarrassed that I'm so blinded and paralyzed by the looming, ugly moving agenda that I'm hiding behind these simple grooming (and celebratory) tasks. True, Henry can't claw his way cross-country, and Abby's slimy, green hair is taking on a life of its own, but maybe I should be orchestrating the intricate, pressing details of our next six weeks...

Gotta dash. Balloons, snaggly nails and scraggly hair have won. Fiddle-dee-dee.

Monday, June 22, 2009

Cool Pool

Today the kids and I went to the pool. The three of us love our days of swimming, splashing and sun. The pool provides refuge from the scorching, summer south, allowing us to actually leave our air conditioned caves.

After the fairly frustrating, daunting process of migrating from the car (with squealing kids, bulging pool bag), through the parking lot and into the pool, we apply sunscreen. No one likes this process. The kids seemed to meld into the ground as I try to preempt the sun’s time stamp on their perfect, plump skin. Once I declare them safe, they escape to the cool confines of the blue.

Time at the pool is somehow surreal to me—simultaneously quick and languid. It’s like something from a dream sequence, the bright light of the sun, the brilliant blue of the sky and the little children splashing in the water, their laughter bouncing back to the sunlit sky. Parents abound, some in the pool, some in their graduate status of lounge chair perch.


It’s of this life and of my past life, when my role was that of the girl with chlorinated hair and tanned, limber limbs. Now, in the sunhatted-SPFed-tankini mommy role, I watch Abby full-heartedly take over my long discarded role, perfecting her dive, freestyle, hand-stands and underwater flips. As I play with Henry, I’m again taken back to my childhood pool days, now in the shallow end, playing with my baby brother. I was 10, he was two. I’d put him underwater and quickly pull him up and he’d gleefully squeal. His hair would always end up in wet, drippy point on his forehead (a la Squiggy of Laverne and Shirley fame). His round cheeks looked as if they might burst from the force of his smile. And we’d repeat and repeat and repeat. I now repeatedly replicate this ritual with Henry. Thanks to a curiously strong gene pool, his hair and cheeks look exactly the same as his Uncle’s.

When the kids and I head home, our energy is zapped, our bodies are chlorinated and our hearts buoyant. Here’s to pool days, past and present, heralding us back for more.