Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Just Jump In

I vowed to never be the mother who watched her kids swim when I was about eight.  We had a lake house in Ohio and by the end of May, my sister and I were swimming in the 65 degree water.  My mom would watch us from the sand and hear a long litany of "Watch this!" and "Come in!  It's not that cold!" from my sister and me.  She would always answer, "I don't swim until August when it's good and hot."  I remember thinking that it was the silliest thing I had ever heard.  Why not just jump in and have fun?

Fast forward twenty some years.  I am the mother who watches her kids swim.  It is plenty hot and I don't have any excuse for not swimming.  In fact, it's one of my favorite activities.  But I will still come up with a long list of reasons why I shouldn't swim.  Important things.  Like my hair.  Or my makeup.  And it would be really really nice to just sit for a few minutes.  

My husband, however, is not one to tolerate excuses. The other night we were hanging out watching the boys swim when suddenly, he jumped in with all his clothes on.  The boys squealed with delight and immediately pounced on his back.  They yelled to me from the melee, "Mommy come in!"

"Oh, that's okay," I said thinking about my freshly curled hair that just might still look good tomorrow.  "You guys look like you are having a great time!"

My husband shot me a look that said, "Get your butt in here whether you like it or not."  I smiled sweetly and pretended not to notice.

He jumped out of the pool with his harms out and his eyes intent on throwing me straight into the pool.  "No!" I screamed, "My phone is in my pocket!"  Last ditch effort, I know.  He shrugged his shoulders to tell me it was my loss then jumped back into the boys.  Then something changed in me.  Why in the world was I stopping  myself from having fun with my family?  Why was I holding back?   Because of my hair or my phone?  That's silly, I thought.  So I went for it.

When they were all playing by the fountain with their backs turned, I did a cannon ball in my jeans and tank top.  "Mommy!  You forgot to put on your bathing suit!  That's so funny!" my oldest son yelled.  I dove under water to chase and tickle him and we spent a solid hour playing together in the pool.  It was wonderful.  

Will I jump in the next time my hair is freshly curled?  I'd like to think that I will.  It's an opportunity to enjoy my kids and my husband.  Those are not opportunities to turn down.

How do you let go of your "grown-up" hang ups to have a great time with your family?

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