Checking In

It’s definitely summer break here in Waynesboro. The girls and I been to the pool almost every day. They have been taking swim lessons and now can out-swim me. I’ve been trying to get in the pool a lot, too, but it’s really not been very comfortable—just not quite hot enough. 

I’ve been doing a lot of reading. A friend of mine told me about A Girl Named Zippy, by Haven Kimmel, which is fabulous, and let me just say WHERE HAVE I BEEN? (Oh yeah, writing my own books…) I love her writing. I read the second memoir first–She Got Up off the Couch. LOVED IT. It’s the voice, it just grabs you. But I think her novel, The Solace of Leaving Early, was brilliant. It hurt me to read it because moments in the prose were so clear, so delicately written, it just made me cry. The Used World is on my table—next to  read when I finish Zippy.
I also revisited on of my favorite contemporary novelist Jane Urquhart earlier in the month. I read AWAY for the second time. Her stories are always so poetic–I wasn’t surprised to find that she is also a poet. 
We haven’t done any camps yet. The girls want to do some dance camps and I am all for it. We just need to make up our minds. 

Dread and Longing

I have about a week left until school is out. On the one hand, I am so tired of the grind; on the other hand I fear having my kids home all summer with me. We all really need a break from school. In fact I feel like this week and next are kind of "lame duck" days at school. I am not sure the children are accomplishing anything.
In the mean time, I am querying editors and waiting for my royalty check. I know I won’t be able to accomplish much this summer. My girls want to swim this year, which means I’ll be dragging my bones to the pool every day. It’s so good for them to learn how to swim and I full support their efforts. We have not signed up for any camps. I know I better do that soon. But I feel like things are closing in on me and there won’t be enough time to work or really to even relax.

Perfect Parenting Moment?

The girls and I have been at our community pool every weekday for three weeks.
This love-affair with the pool started when Tess decided she wanted to swim, which is a great thing I wanted to encourage. Classes are only $20–for daily instruction for two weeks. Now, both of my girls are taking classes.
Emma, my older daughter did not have a good experience with swim lessons at the local Y. They were a bit too forceful about putting her face in the water. But, gradually, she is coming around in this new set of classes.
My younger daughter, on the other hand, has been a joy to watch. She has a healthy fear of the water, but it’s not stopping her from enjoying herself. This morning after classes we all three played in the pool together. It was a moment in time that I wish I could have captured.
My arms wrapped around one or the other or both. Our giggles and squeals mingled with the sounds of splashing water, not in a hurry to go anywhere. This, I thought, is one of those parenting moments that makes it all worthwhile.
It was short-lived, of course, because we all could not agree about what time to leave the pool. Emma was out first, shivering, wanting to go home. Tess and I stayed in. I wanted to stay longer, but I felt that pulled-between-my-daughters feeling and finally had to sit on the edge of the pool with Emma while Tess played in the water for ten minutes.
One the way home, we argued about lunch, just like we do almost every day, So much for my perfect parenting moment.