Thursday, June 30, 2011

It's Been a Long Time Coming

It's been a long time coming, this simple thing I did this evening.  And I'm not really sure why I haven't done it.  I've always loved it and spent major chunks of my time as a child, teen and young mother doing it.  But somehow over the years, and the boys doing other things and being embarrassed to do it because I wasn't the young, semi-svelte thing I once was ... I just didn't do it anymore. 

I have plenty of opportunity and certainly no one stopping me.  But I realize now that what I did this evening, that I've never done while living at this apartment complex (2 years), that I haven't done in at least 6-7 years, and then only one time that I can remember.  Perhaps it was because I'd really never it done it all alone, just me, myself and I before.  And I'm over that now that the boys are on their own.  I go to movies by myself, I've always preferred to shop by myself, I've even gone to a few festivals and freebie concerts by myself.  But never this ... until tonight.

Why tonight?  I dunno - I'd been thinking about it and kind of vowed to myself that I wouldn't let another 4th of July holiday pass without doing it - because I'd ALWAYS done it growing up.  It was maybe my most beloved summer pasttime - especially growing up in Michigan and Minnesota and their abundance of lakes.  Real lakes.  Made by God - fed by underground springs or creeks.  Not the dammed up rivers made by the Army Corps that pass as lakes in this water-challenged land desert called the Heartland.

Maybe that's part of it.  My kids grew up with swimming pools.  When I took them to the few "lakes" in these parts - they, macho boys they are - ewww'd and squealed in disgust when I suggested actually placing their entire bodies in a lake with murky, muddy water.  So they watched from the beach as I paddled happily along on an air mattress, soaking and luxuriating in that dirty water.  Even during trips to Minnesota and Iowa to God's lakes, they really weren't keen on the idea of getting INTO the water itself - so they swam in the pool at the family reunion and watched cousins board sailing and swimming.

Well, whatever has perpetuated this "dry" spell in my life is officially ended.  Part reminiscing about my childhood, part pondering why I haven't done it in so long and part - it was just freakin', blistering, stupid, uncomfortable hot even at 8:30 p.m. when I took the girls out for their walk.  I'd come in and laid down on my bed and slept for two hours because I was just that tired ... and hot.  As I was sweatin' with the weenies, I decided.

It wasn't a monumental decision, it was just a quietly resolved choice to do this thing, without the company of anyone else, and to enjoy it.  Which I did ... thoroughly.  I realized I wasn't alone - all the young and pre-teen girls who are weenie fans and who've made friends with the puppy lady squealed with delight when they saw me.  And when I confessed it was my maiden voyage in the two years I've lived here ... they looked at me, rightfully so, like I was insane!  I'd have done the same thing?  Two years, two long, hot summers and this is the first time you've gone SWIMMING?  Lady, you must be nutso!

Well, yeah.  But I'm still not sure why I haven't gone swimming in so very long.  It was wonderful, soothing, cooling, calming and ... I wasn't alone and I didn't care if my swimsuit is probably older than most of my weenie fan club members.  And even though most of the families that were at the pool speak Spanish - a smile, help building a pyramid of kids on their dads' shoulders in the deep end and holding a cute toddler for just a minute convinced me swimming after 8 p.m. is delightful - no blistering sun.

So ... yeah, the curse (or whatever the dry spell has been) has been lifted.  I plan to swim and do some water aerobics every evening I can.  The water baby is back!!!

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