It is funny and sad at the same time to watch a child stubbornly stick to something that simultaneously offers enjoyment and suffering. We were all at a party yesterday and there was a big pool. The little guy has only been in a pool large enough for him to float himself once before, and he was very anxious to have another go at it.
His Nana taught him a new trick this summer that involves bodies of water and any sticks or stones that may be scattered about in the general vicinity: these sorts of items make a pleasant kerplunk sound when tossed into said water. Thankfully no one but mommy and Nana saw the little boy lob a sizable landscaping stone into the crystal waters of the pool. It looked gynormous lying on the bottom of the pool, the sun and layers of water playing tricks on the eye. I was very relieved when the rock was back where it belonged, sunning itself by the side of the pool.
The baby required my attention initially, so a couple of his aunties took my son into the cold water. Even though the sun was warm the weather has been cooler the last couple of weeks, so the water temperature was less than ideal. After a person was actually able to submerge most of their body in the glacial water it wasn’t so bad.
Once the little guy was in the water, nothing, not the promise of cake or going down the fastest of all slides again, was enough to entice him back out. His body shook and his teeth clacked together. His lips turned blue while he alternately clung to an adult and drifted around in the big blue raft, the water wings bulging pointlessly from his arms. It was sad. But every enquiry to remove from the pool was answered with, “N-n-no, w-want t-t-to stay in da pool.” Or “ W-w-want t-to schwim,” his voice husky from the effort to speak. Chatter, chatter.
I love how children manage to enjoy everything. Even if the clouds momentarily hide the warmth of the sun, and the wind blows its cool breath across the swimming waters. They just grit their teeth (or clink them together) and have their fun anyway. Better to have a chilly swim than no swim at all. And my boy was so obviously having a good time that the icy liquid lapping around my shoulders and making the hair on my legs grow didn’t bother me that much either.
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3 years ago