Yesterday, I called my mom to make alternative plans for our evening swimming date.
“What? We’ll be fine,” she said.
I glanced back at my cell phone and confirmed that the temperature outside read 58 degrees.
“It’s a little chilly, don’t you think?” I said.
“Listen, I’m going for my morning swim. If it’s too cold, I’ll call you.”
She didn’t call me.
So, last night, I packed up my swimming bag and headed on over.
She lives near a pool by a lake and is something of a mermaid. My whole adult life she’s been coaxing me into the water.
“When are you coming in?” she’ll call across the crowded pool and I’ll look up from my magazine and give her a wave. “Soon,” I’ll yell back. “I’m not hot enough yet.”
She’ll roll her eyes, take another lap, and try me again.
During my active parenting years, I’d send the children in as decoys and they’d all have a merry time while I read blissfully and waited for my bones to warm up.
Eventually, I’d dive in to cool off, swim around a little, and then make my way back to my appropriately named lounge chair.
Lately, though, I’ve found I love the water almost as much as she does. I drag my tired old muscles into that water and let them rest for a while. “Take ten on the exhausting business of hauling me around,” I tell my body. “The water’s got me for a while.”
And then I float in a muted wonderland, eyes closed and ears dipped low.
I have a little friend who likes to swim too and, because water is the greatest equalizer, when I’m in the pool with him I get to pretend I’m a kid again. We dive for targets, careen down slides and make goofy jumps off the diving board.
We don’t have a whole lot of outdoor swimming days here in Wisconsin, so let’s all make the most of what we’ve got.
And, if you need me, I’ll be in line at diving board.