Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Fun and Shun at the Pool

First I want to say hello! It's nice to be back after several hectic weeks. I've been keeping a list of everything I want to write about, but until now I've had no time to actually sit down and compose my thoughts. Since the last post, my sister Renee gave birth to a son, the first boy in our immediate family since our dad was born in '53. Congratulations Renee, Brian, and Layla! And welcome to the world Alexander Ryan Bridgeman. Your auntie loves you more than you can possibly imagine.

To keep this is chronological order, I'm gonna go back about three weeks (good God can I recall that far back???) to write about the wonderful Saturday afternoon Nora and I spent at the Hopkins Park Pool. For those of you who know me, you may be surprised to read that Momma Ivy, who knows not how to swim despite many years of lessons, went to a swimming pool willing. I did. And I even had fun, IN THE WATER!!! The plan was that after Ryan's morning bike ride, the family would go to the pool and spend some time together. This summer has been so busy with me teaching at night, and of course the rainiest, coldest July on record wasn't helping us in our efforts to enjoy the outdoors. This was the perfect opportunity.

Nora and I put on our bathing suits instead of clothes, and then we waited for Ryan to come home. She ran around the yard while I weeded. Emily "napped" while her Dad was out, and by napping I mean rubbed her eyes, pouted, and refused to sleep. By the time Ryan got home, I knew we would have to craft a new plan. Emily was in no mood to go anywhere, and Ryan was completely pooped from riding 50 miles. Nora and I decided to head out for a girl's afternoon. I joked with her that she would have to teach me to swim! She thought that was hilarious. She doesn't realize its funny because its true...

We got to the pool, and it was just a blissful afternoon. Just the right amount of sun, the water was the perfect temperature, Nora looked adorable in her new suit. I scored a chair under an umbrella and watched as she made friends, went down the slide, and had the time of her life. I pretended to read a magazine, but of course I kept my eyes on her the whole time. During the mandatory breaks, we drank root beer and ate popcorn and chocolate bars. Awesome. We were there for hours. This should be the end of the post. But two things happened that turned the day from lovely but unmemorable to "Oh geez!!"

First, I saw one of Nora's "friends", a girl named Katie. She is the daughter of one of Ryan's co-workers, and she has always been a wonderful older-sister type friend. I'm not sure how old Katie is now; but I'd imagine she is 11 or 12. She was at the pool with her girlfriends, all of whom were wearing bikinis and had their hair fixed up nice. They were acting like typical teenage girls, and I saw that Katie recognized Nora. I could also see she necessarily didn't want Nora to recognize her back. Every time we went for a snack, I made sure to put Nora's back towards the gaggle of girls. God, being a teenager is so hard, and I didn't want Katie to be embarrassed that she was friends with a baby (or whatever those girls might think). On the other hand, I felt kinda bad for not saying hello. So Katie, if you ever see this, I just want to let you know that you looked very cute, and that I wasn't shunning you or trying to be rude.

Second, I may not have stressed the sheer amount of junk that Nora and I ate. She was running around so much, and didn't her want to dehydrate or get low blood sugar. Plus, I never give her junk and I wanted to spoil her on the perfect afternoon! After popcorn, Nora and I headed back into the pool. I was in the water with her when she lost her balance and took in a big mouthful of water. Her eyes got really big, and just as the panic began to well up in my chest, she turned her head and threw up all over the concrete next to the pool. Oh no!!! Oh no, no you didn't...oh yes you just spewed popcorn everywhere. Talk about embarrassed, poor Nora was mortified. I got her out of the water and quickly got the life guard. She radioed for her manager, and then we stood watch over the puddle until the cleaning supplies arrived.

And the manager did arrive, the blond, bronzed, muscular, Olympian-god like life guard manager. Thank you mister for cleaning up my kids vomit. I just about died. But I did manage to snap a quick pic before we slinked away! As he swabbed the deck, I told a tearful Nora it was time to go. Mentally she wanted to stay, but physically she was finished. I promised her McDonald's ice-cream on the way home to keep her from hysterics, and of course I figured all the kaolin in the "ice-cream" would settle her tummy. It did. And you know what? We had a good time anyways.

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