(Before I go set out a hearty snack for the four olders and Vern when they get back from the lake, I had to get this posted.)
I dreamed of swimming not too long ago . . . the feeling of buoyancy and free movement in water clung to me for days. Today, we all went down to the community beach and had a lovely time. The older children are slowly learning their way around in the water, gaining confidence as they splash and jump and paddle around. Vern took all of the smaller ones out in the kayak, (excepting the baby--my rule is you have to fit into the smallest lifejacket, and he's not even sitting up solidly yet ;o), and MrC took a spin in it on his own. I held the baby, and hung out with the Bear at the shoreline. He's still deeply afraid of the water (he had a dunking when he was a little past one year), but we made great progress today. He sat with me at the edge in the sand and let the water lap his feet & legs, and even held it together admirably (even laughing some) when I held him close against my chest and slowly edged out rib-deep into the lake.
When the Bear was done in the water, and HJ still content to hang out in Vern's arms, I took off towards a buoy, not far from the end of a nearby dock. It wasn't far, about 35 yards, and I made it fairly easily, sidestroking as I went. The wake from powercraft spiced it up a bit, dipping and lifting me (mostly) with the short swells. The spice came when I didn't rise, and went through the swell, instead. lol
I hung out on the buoy for a few minutes, feeling my heart work, and seeing the houses from the lake side for once. (Those that I admired from the back as I walked along the neighborhood roads were even more beautiful from the water.) I struck back for shore, and felt again the light swell from wake and wind, this time sweeping me forward lightly as I swam with it. The children, intrigued with the idea of their mother striking out into open water, toyed with the idea of accompanying me in their lifejackets for another trip. In the end, MrC was the only one who followed me out the second time. Even dressed as I was (baggy woven cotton capris and a cotton/spandex exercise shirt), I beat him handily. (Knowing how to swim well, even out of condition as I most thoroughly am, makes a huge difference. lol) On the way back, though, he pretended to not compete until he could touch and half-run, half-swim in to shore. lol I called it a day, remembering full well how easy it is to overtire when swimming, and to get myself into trouble when out of shape. Even as it is, with swimming just a scant 140 yards today, my triceps still feel jello-y and all of my upper body already complains when I stretch and move. (Oh, how sore I will be tomorrow!) Back in my days of swim team (don't freak out--yes, I did once swim on a team, and even medalled in back stroke), I would easily swim five hundred yards or more five times a week.
I took the Bear and HJ back home, leaving Vern and the four olders to play a little longer, driving while seated on the silvery plastic of the van's window shade. I had made no provisions for coming home wet, as I hadn't planned on it in the least. I'm glad the window shade was there to be sat upon . . . I poured about a third of a cup of water out onto the driveway after arriving home. ;o)
And now I'm sitting here, feeling the all-over, thorough fatigue of swimming, and the amazing, soft, gentle sensation of having been completely in the water. I had forgotten how good it felt to swim. And even more, the deep satisfaction of living out some of who I really am for my children to see. I've been so encumbered with childbearing, breastfeeding, and housekeeping that they really don't know much about me before all of that. For that matter, neither does Vern. lol He looked so thrilled as I came back from my first lap . . . a grin split his face that he couldn't have wiped off if he tried.
You know, it's hard to beat living life.