It all began with long-overdue swim lessons.
After an early dinner, two exhausted kids and low expectations stumbled behind me into the gym to drop off the paperwork. The 6pm time slot was the only one left, so we had no choice.
We slumped into damp chairs in steamy, chlorine-thick air. While I sat through 22 torturous minutes of watching the group before theirs, shielding “is it our turn yet is that my teacher no maybe her or is it him?” I made a cranky joke on Facebook.
Obviously, one of my kids (I’m looking at YOU, pint-sized pony-tailed Drama Queen who puts her thumbs on Shouty Time Outs) is gonna cry, wasting time and money.
Then the other will suddenly decide Dry is the new Wet and glue himself to the locker room doorknob for the next 30 minutes.
I was too tired to even care about the scene. I just wanted to get it all over with. I was ready for the inevitable.
As the kids names were called, I got the towels ready for catching running, weeping offspring.
It’ll be over soon.
I’ll have a snarky story of screaming kids or sexy life guards to share.
And then she walked right into the arms of a stranger in red’s encouraging smile. She floated on her back all by herself, a feat that had her in hysterics only two days ago.
He wore optimism and a SpongeBob swimsuit. He kicked and focused and recovered from swallowing water with a grace even Michael Phelps’ mom has never seen.
They were brave and patient.
They were good listeners who cheered on the rest of their little groups.
They tried and succeeded at everything thrown their way.
They were proud.
In the end, I blamed their giddy wet hugs for the droplets on my cheeks
But they weren’t the only proud ones last night.