Today thanks to the invitation of my friend J. I find myself swimming with the children this afternoon. I’d woken an hour before, ran about doing laundry, packing swim bags, and finishing up a million dishes and packing a snack before bringing both kids out from a truncated sleep (Phoenix in particular was still up and texting at nine AM). It was hard going for her at first but by the time we pulled into the Y parking lot she had striped tiger eyes. She loves the water. (It’s a little after midnight and she’s remained equitable and loving all day, except for a brief episode with her brother fighting over rights to a kitten.)
In the pool a ponytailed man with his young daughter (or, possibly, granddaughter) compliments J. and I – in a way – saying it’s so nice to see parents actually playing with their children. I know what he means, but as I tread water across the depths I spend a few moments reflecting that I am not the most playful adult. Maybe that’s one reason why my kids are so delighted when I do engage in these ways. A few minutes later I float past them in the “river” while they “fish” with those float-noodles and I pretend to be, in succession, an alligator, an octopus, a great white shark, a blowfish (their idea), then finally a Tired Out Lady. I get all the kids laughing, even rather stoic T.
Ralph spent most of today and the day before recording a musician – efforts which were unfortunately partially sabotaged by rather inconsiderate grownups interrupting their rehearsal (many different people, many times). After my husband and I finally had our house and one another to ourselves, he and I took a date at our familiar and beloved Casa Mia and reflected on the last few days. Ralph and I have been, in final estimation, overhelping other people – not resting and helping one another nor ourselves enough. Some rest, respite, and dare I say genuine pampering is in order. If you think that means I’m going to finally treat myself to those octopus earrings, cherry read patent leather docs (okay, hell, also the teal pair), and that Pendleton blanket, you’re totally right. (EXCEPT I’m not, but let me just pretend I’m going to because it makes me feel badass. I’ll probably end up getting a big bulk scoop of Walmart cotton panties.)
(Small Stone #17*)
I’m transfixed by the water beaded on your flawless skin.
We hold one another very close, and for a long time.
“I should remember to listen every time you tell me about your love.”
(Small Stone #18*)
Linda’s voice is rich and deep,
Her laugh musical like a girls’.
She has dark skin and even deeper freckles
And large, brown, beautiful eyes.
I love that you play with your children. You may not be “as playful” as others, but your presence alone speaks volumes.
I think that playing can be defined in many different ways and you probably fit several of those definitions in regards to your interactions with your kids. Sometimes play is more passive than active.
I LOVE those earrings and the teal Docs. I still love my 10 year-old Union Jack Docs, although I don’t wear them as often as I used to. I should. The earrings remind me of the Buddha’s hand citron that I saw yesterday at Whole Foods. Very cool.
because of your blogpost i decided to change a teary day (after a hospital visit with to much sad reality) into a wet one and went swimming with Alma. it was great, we had fun a lots of laughs, thanks.
I think presence is the best thing we can offer one another. I also think many grownps have lost some play abilities. Will I get them back? My husband seems to have a lot more “play” than I do…
Ah, have you cooked one of those? They certainly are striking to look at!
That is so great to hear! Wow. Thank you for sharing.
Unless I am mistaken, the quote from Small Stone #17 must be from Nels. Something about the way he puts his words together always makes me pause. I can’t quite put my finger on it. It’s like some kind of philosophical touch unique to him.
Maybe he should write fortunes for cookies or something.
…and thank you for making me lookup “Suprasternal Notch”. I love learning new things.
Yes, that’s him. We were in the pool at the time. We had a long time of closeness. It was wonderful.
& you’re welcome!