Keeping my head above water

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I felt a bit blah when I woke yesterday. I’m not loving the mornings I’m alone in the house.

I like the bustle of filling school lunch bags and hustling tousled tweens out of bed. Without those distractions it’s just me and life’s big questions rattling around in my head.

The smallest perceived slight will set me off. I drove to work yesterday with a tear-stained face, feeling very “poor me.”

I always perk up when I walk into the office. By lunchtime I was howling with laughter at some VERY inappropriate jokes in the Kidspot office about someone’s mum getting her first tattoo.

And it’s pretty hard to stay blue on Tuesday afternoons during hi-jinks at the local swimming pool following the kids’ lesson.

After playing a game of tip that pushes us to the panting edge of collapse, we take turns giving each other piggyback rides in the water. Then we double the fun and give two family members piggyback rides at the same time.

The youngest gamely staggers around with me and her adult-sized big sister clutching her shoulders.

I have NO idea where she finds the energy after doing an hour’s skipping practice at school then 45 minutes of laps in the pool.

Other kids stare longingly during our games. They’ll sometimes ask to join the fun and I’ve even had the occasional mum thank me for playing with their child.

Sometimes I feel a bit “Dear mom on the iPhone” about it … which is awful because I loathe the person who wrote that judgemental blog. But I do want to tell the mums it’s worth gritting my teeth and jumping in the water with the kids now and then.

I hate exposing my pale flesh and getting in that tepid water, but I’ll invariably start giggling once fully immersed. And so will the kids. The joy is infectious and the girls would happily skylark with me for hours if I could handle it.

But I’m not a water person – 30 minutes is about my limit.

All too soon those childhood games will be over and my kids will have better things to do than give their mum a piggyback in the pool.

So I’m cherishing those Tuesday afternoons while I can, even if they do involve tepid, toddler wee-infused water.

Song of the day: REM “Night swimming”

 

 

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3 thoughts on “Keeping my head above water

  1. It is worth it! Your kids won’t forget that you could have fun and play. And they’ll teach their kids. You’re making the world a more fun place one generation at a time.

  2. That’s wonderful Alana. That’s made me think. I loathe getting into water almost as much as I loathe being in a swimming costume (I hate feeling so exposed). But I know I have to get over it, as on the occasions I have got into the water with my son he loves it so much. You’re right – the time when kids WANT to play with their mum will be over before we know it. I really need to get in the water instead of just watching from the sidelines.

  3. So true. Well done Alana for making the effort. My cuddly loving almost 13 yo has, in the last 2 weeks, started being teenagery and mildly contemptuous. It happened almost overnight. Really mourning the little girl who thought I was ‘sektakala’ (spectacular). She has now started questioning what we do – the one yesterday was “Why did you have children so late?” (I had just turned 36 when I had her) I said, “because I didn’t meet your dad till I was 35”. She said nothing to that but I could tell she thought that was very badly arranged.

    Play with your children while you can. So hard to appreciate them in all the drudgery of every day life.

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