The heat wave here in Snowstorm Region continues. Since neither my home or car are air conditioned, the only thing to do on a hot humid day is find water somewhere. Yesterday, the kids and I spend the afternoon at Neighbors' House. These neighbors live about a mile away, right in the center of Train Track Village, and they have an above-ground pool.
The kids - my own, some extras, and the neighbor kids - spent the entire time in the water, splashing and playing games. Neighbor Woman and I went in and out of the water, and sat on the deck to watch the kids, talking the whole time. She and I went to high school together, the same high school Boy in Black currently attends.
It was a lazy summer afternoon. The kids were counting up how many days of school they had left. Philosophical Boy is graduating sixth grade and has to give a speech at the graduation ceremony on Thursday. Neighbor Guy and I reminisced about skiing last winter, and talked about camping in the mountains. Blonde Niece and Daughter compared their new bathing suits, bright-coloured bikinis. Spouse had decided to stay home and work in the empty quiet (but certainly not clean) house, but gave up eventually and came for a swim.
The first swim of the year always makes Neighbor Woman and I realize how much our kids have grown. The height of the water in the pool is about three feet and we used to have to supervise the kids very closely when it was over their heads. This year, for the first time, all the kids are tall enough to stand up. And besides, they can swim pretty well now. What a relief.
Yes, it is a relief that the kids don't need us as much any more, but it is also a little bittersweet. The pool gets smaller each year, as the kids turn into teenagers and then adults. Daughter has completed a year of college, and the next two kids - Boy in Black and Older Neighbor Boy - are not far behind her. Neighbor Woman and I both live in the community we grew up in; how many of these kids will make that same choice? These are the things we talked about as the sun got hotter. But soon I shook off those thoughts and joined the group of children in the pool. Summers are for splashing in cold water and enjoying the kids right now. And it's only June: we've got the whole summer ahead of us.