Lil’ Duck is easily thrilled, but nothing makes him happier than the promise of swimming in the pool. He jumps up and down, shouts with glee, then runs around collecting all his pool supplies. He gets his swimmies, his pool shoes, his swim diaper, swim trunks, my swimsuit, his ball, his boat, and his tube; piling them all at my feet with eager anticipation. He does all he can to help me put his swim diaper and trunks on, stepping into it and pulling it up with his chubby little hands. He sticks out his arm for a swimmie and pats it with wonder. Then he puts his feet into his shoes and takes off running for the door. If it isn’t opened quickly enough, he knocks on it and says “hewlo, hewlo, pool, wa-wa??”.
Once the door is opened, he takes off running for the stairs. With the utmost baby caution, he holds my hand and the handrail, cautiously putting one foot down, then the other, while all the while surveying the pool below. When he finally reaches the ground, he jumps with glee, running for the pool gate. He yanks it open and waits impatiently for me to put our towels and shoes down.
Finally, the moment is at hand. He waddles over to the stairs, grasping my hand and the handrail as he steps into the water. Once on the first step, he leaps eagerly into my arms, enjoying the feeling of the cool water on his little belly. He looks around, admiring the palm trees, the other people, the balls in the water, the lizards sunning themselves on the pool deck, and any other items of interest. Then he pushes away from me and takes off. I support his belly as he kicks and splashes like a little frog.
Unbeknownst to him, he would never go anywhere if I wasn’t propelling him, but he takes great delight in the thought that he is “wimming”. Once he reaches the other side of the pool, he climbs out, planting his feet, not his knees, just like a big person. He turns around, creeps forward until his feet are right on the edge, and starts to bounce – “one, two, TREEEEE!!” as he launches himself into my arms. Delighted screams and happy splashing abounds.
This is the essence of summer – the pure, sweet joy of a little one over such simple, everyday things that I would have taken for granted. It makes up for the lack of quiet sunbathing time (now I get buried in sand and am presented with palm tree leaves), for all the disaster and stress he causes, for it is just the two of us, enjoying summer together as friends.