On Wednesday nights, I take Josh and Isabella swimming.
Actually, let me clarify that. On Wednesday nights, I take Josh and Isabella to the local community center, drop them in front of their respective change rooms, and enjoy 45 minutes of time by myself while I watch them swim. It’s time I cherish—I get to catch up on my emails and nobody asks anything of me, except the one time that the little girl barfed in the pool and I was asked to collect my no-longer-able-to-have-a-lesson kids. A fouling in the pool, they called it. A fouling in my evening was more like it.
Truthfully, though, I’m not only checking emails. I’m also sneaking peeks of my kids when they can’t see me.
The funny thing is that although my two younger children may look awfully similar (In fact, Emily has a little ditty called “Josh With Long Hair”—you should ask her to sing it for you, it’s a winner) it’s in the pool where they could not be more different. The two are in the same swim class even though there’s almost three years between them — because Isabella loves to swim and Josh is lazy — and their differences begin before they even get into the pool.
Isabella runs (and often gets in trouble because there’s no running at the pool) and does a full High School Musical jump right in, while Josh starts with just his toes, gets used to the water, and then goes in until his knees, then his torso, then finally his head.
Isabella’s front crawl is fast and furious. She bumps into other kids and sometimes even the lane dividers. She races to the finish line, without paying attention to her arms or legs or form at all. She is just loving every stroke. Josh’s front crawl is slow and steady. Other kids bump into him because he never races to the finish line, paying attention to his arms and legs and his form. He hates every single stroke, but boy are his arms straight as they go down into the water.
These kids. I sure love that they look similar, it’s adorable actually.
But I love their differences even more.