Early Sunday morning after a late night at work. A night at work where all the minions of chaos came together to render it an unmitigated disaster... as far as disasters can go, that is, when you're running a glorified theatre concessions stand. The alarm is demanding you get up, because dammit, there is a seven-year-old's birthday to attend and you said you'd go. Also? You have to put on a swimsuit. Sigh. Roll out of bed, climb into the kids' bed and attempt to wake them by falling back to sleep across their tiny bodies. The big one responds to the words, "birthday pool party" by stumbling up and pulling on her swimsuit, wandering about with a clean pair of underwear muttering to her dad, "Where's the swim bag?". The little one remains asleep, mouth open and back pressed into your own belly while you snuggle into the nape of her sweet neck, breathing in the smell of her and wondering how you make it through each day without eating her up, you love her so.
Back into your own bedroom you go, rummaging around for a swimsuit, dreading the image you'll see once all your parts are tucked into the unforgiving material. "Blerg" you tell your Mister and your reflection. "Mmmm." He replies, wrapping his arms around you and planting a kiss on your shoulder. You are loved, even if you look slightly like a sausage.
Breakfast for you, the kids, the dog, the chickens, brief thoughts of the goat you don't have and would have to be milking right now if you did. Totally waiting on the goat until the world changes a bit, yep. Check the garden, remove a couple bugs, add some water to the Three Sisters patch and then back inside to gather the family, trying to get them into the car in one fell swoop (or swell foop, as the Mister likes to say). Realize there was no coffee this morning and shake it off, making your way to the YMCA pool you've never seen.
Wrong turn. Thank goodness for the Mister who spies the water slide and tells you where to go.
This is what you find:
Psst, not my photo. I refuse to bring my camera to places full of wet.
It's like a Mecca for wee people. When the big water slide opens you try to talk the big kid into going, but she refuses, too afraid. Instead, spend the next hour swapping with the Mister so you both can ride it, pleasantly surprised and excited to be reminded how brilliantly awesome a water slide can be. The water is warm, the sun is burning you all a bit, but you are having a great time. Happy to be together and playing and not even thinking about how you look as you rawr through the water with a five-year-old giggling on your back, flinging children around feeling like a kid, yourself.
You realize, for only a moment, that you are not even thinking of the things that made you yell, "This cannot happen again!" at your staff just 12 hours ago. All you can see is that the little kid is learning the breast stroke right in front of you and the big kid has just discovered that even if she can't touch the bottom of the pool, she can save herself by simply swimming to the edge and the Mister is grinning foolishly from the top of the big water slide, pure joy all around. Who knew you could find a moments redemption in an aquatic park?
This is you, on a Sunday morning.
And dammit, you like this version of you.