I had planned a first-world-problem post for today. About how the summer pool season is fast coming to a close. And how that’s devastating to pool-going moms the world over. Because HOW ARE WE SUPPOSED TO ENTERTAIN OUR KIDS NOW?
The pool is my weekend babysitter.
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Luckily, my boys are young enough that we can take full advantage of the baby pool cage. Which means I can ignore them for 7 hours straight. (Sound impossible? Did I mention nap time is officially dead at my house? The baby pool opens at 10am and we are pool fanatics!)
Since the baby pool is completely fenced in, I spend my time snacking, reading and chatting up other mommies. Hey, I see you have small children. You should totally see my blog – blah, blah, blah. And, of course, I mindlessly scroll Facebook.
Sure, sure, kids can drown in 2-teaspoons of water (or is it 2 cups?) Yep, I really should watch them. But at our pool we believe in the it-takes-a-village approach, taking turns fishing each other’s kids out of the perilously deep, 1.5-foot waters.
With the Labor Day pool-closing deadline looming, I am grieving the end of my Saturday/Sunday respite. In just three short weeks, I’ve got to get back into entertaining mode: Would you like playdough now? How about we have a dance party? Oh, you want to go to the Children’s Museum where I need eyes in the back of my head and extra arms because you each want to climb on a different exhibit at the exact same time?
Mommying is hard.
But I’m grateful for it. Because my oldest was born the week of the Sandy Hook Massacre.
I was postpartum weepy and sleep deprived. And people kept whispering around me: No, don’t say that. Absolutely devastating. She doesn’t need to know.
Doesn’t need to know what?
My brother panicked. My sister-in-law deflated. My husband demurred.
Are you going to tell me what the hell is happening?! Or do I have to turn on the news? Clearly the world is about to end given your LOUD nonverbals.
They told me. And I wanted to rip that cowardly asshole apart. With my bare hands. Like in The Handmaid’s Tale. I was visceral motherhood. I was Old Testament God. I wanted to vomit. And it hadn’t even happened to my child.
How can I raise a child now? What’s to become of him?
I agonized and wrung my hands. Until my husband said:
We had a child not to hide him away. But to send him out into the world. Bravely. Come what may.
I leaned on his words this past week while I worried furiously over insecure despots tossing threats of nuclear war into the air like candy. And watched through tears as Donny’s minions terrorized courageous, principled students and citizens at my alma mater in Charlottesville. These words centered me and stopped me from retreat.
It’s a mad, mad world. Don’t let them win.
Retreat means defeat. We CANNOT retreat from progress, from liberty for all, from Jesus’ directive to love your neighbor. We CANNOT retreat from the light.
So as I look towards September, with its lack of easy peasy pool time, when I’m thrust full and center back into my children’s lives, I look towards embracing their warm, kind, creative spirits. They may one day save the world. Or just extend a hand to the downtrodden and persecuted.
I will send my boys out into the world, holding their hands or not. Come what may. Because the dark will not win.
Blessings to each of you.
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Photo credit: Trent Yarnell from Unsplash.com