I turn to find a 7 year old with two friends... I tell them that I don't race but compete in triathlons: explaining that you have to swim, bike and then run. "Do you get a ribbon?" "Yes, we usually get medal." Eyes big, "cool!" they respond. They comment on how fast I am (which makes me laugh since I'm 1/2 as slow as Michael Phelps, Ryan Lochte, or even my girlfriends 14 year old daughter!!) After a few minutes of conversation: covering such things as the Olympics (one of the boys knows about Ryan Lochte), the importance of swim lessons and triathlons, I tell them I have to get back to my laps... but would they like to race me? "Sure!" They exclaim. On the count of three we're off. I wait for them at the end of the pool to congratulate them on swimming so hard and fast and then carry on my way. Funny how a little cheering from the kids in the next lane can reinvigorate your effort.
Once done with my laps, The Kiddo walks ups and says "5 more minutes, Mom?" "Sure!" What he DOESN'T know is that I'm going to go play with him for a few minutes.
I swim up and see his face: he's surprised and happy I'm there. How do I know? Well he's NOT grinning... but he's trying to hold it in behind his barely discernible smirk. That brings me joy. I follow his lead and we play in the water for a few minutes before the announcement tells us that the pool is closing. Far too soon our fun is over.
We bound underwater like moon men, taking giant leaps in the 7 foot water towards the stairs. I give him a goose and he bats me away with a "HEY!!!". Then we are out and heading home. I tell him about the boys at the pool and he laughs as I describe how slow I am compared to the Olympians. Then he pats my shoulder in a consoling way to tell me that I'm doing lots better since taking my swim lessons! Then we listen to Stephanie Plum and hope to hear more about Carl the Monkey. At home, it's time for some dinner and an episode of White Collar before we each pick up our stuff and finish preparing for the week.
A gloriously hot afternoon and time with my Kiddo. It's the little things that bring the most joy.