Photo: I absolutely love it when The Husband goes off to Ace or Home Depot and then returns with home improvement stuff. The boys line up to gawk at whatever he brings back. Is it a tool? Can we play with it? What does it do? Can we watch you use it? Are you going to build something? Can we help? Why not? Having boys is fun…

 

Thanks to the generosity of my mom and step-father, I was able to purchase the season pass for the pond and I was able to sign up for swim lessons for the boys. Five days, 30 minutes each. Boom. Awesome.

Let me clue you in on what I was imagining would happen this morning: I had a vision of a line of some five or six little kids in their little swimsuits sitting on the pool edge, two or three eager teen instructors in the water with smiles on their faces and their hands in the air. I imagined they had names like, Jeff and Kimi and Veronica or something… you know? They’d start the kids off with flutter kicks while sitting on the pool edge, maybe move up to blowing bubbled in the water and practice breathing, and maybe, if kids progressed enough, they’d graduate to dunking their heads under water at the end of the week. Maybe, just maybe even jumping into the water! (Feet first, of course!) I mean, come on… that’s how you are introduced to the water, right? Slow, sweet, adorable…

Here is what I got:

Twelve kids, twelve instructors, good ratio! It was chaos when I got there, with many kids already in the water with their people, others were crowding at the edge waiting for their instructor. I get there with my two boys and I see this little blonde who doesn’t tell me her name. I’m like, “Hey! What do I do here?” She sort of opens her arms in Major’s direction and, Major being Major, he just waltzes right over. Figures! Then they are gone, out into the water. Minor isn’t so enthused. Another young lady comes over and tries to coax him in. I had to talk him into it. At least I got his instructor’s name! Then some young man comes up to me and confirms my boys’ names, thus reassuring me that, yes, I had brought my children to the right class at the right time.

Every kid was on one of those floatie noodles laying on his or her stomach while being led around by their teen instructor. Instructor enthusiasm level ranged from Daria disinterest to Super Teen Awesome Sauce Happy. Some kids were crying, others screaming with glee. Some were able to balance and kick independently of (but very close to) their instructor. Others, like Minor, were in their instructor’s arms. Minor was almost too comfortable, all cuddled up with his instructor. She didn’t seem to mind at all! Lordy.

And you know what, Dear Reader? It was pretty fantastic. It was chaotic and loud and not what I expected at all, but it was awesome. I’m pumped that my little town has enough active young people in it that such a program is even possible, and I’m glad that there are clean, well taken care of facilities to host such things.

Good news: Little boys had a fantastic time.

Good news: Mama got a 30-minute reprieve in her day.

Bad News: Everybody agrees that 30 minutes is just not enough time. Major was the last out of the water and then he tried to negotiate to get back in!

Now, I foolishly brought my notebook with me, thinking I would be able to get something done. But an indoor pool full of crying/screaming/splashing/laughing children is no space for a writing writer.

I’ll bring my book tomorrow. Different type of concentration.

What? Other moms there?

Oh… there were.

and they were even brown

 

But not my brown! Asian, Middle Eastern… Everything else! But no Black people. And you know what? No white people, either! There were two white women there, of the maybe 20ish women who were sitting in the stands. That’s it! It was fascinating people watching!

Why is that notable? Well, because I rarely see folk of color around here in general, so clearly I’m hanging out in the wrong place. But also because these swim lessons are held in my town for my town’s children by our rec department. My boys currently go to school in the next town over, so most of our social life has been over there, and that town is just about 100% white. But this place? Well… it seems that there is some diversity around here after all. So I’m mighty curious about how the first kindergarten meet-ups are going to look like. Even if I’m the only Black person, I’ll be psyched not to be the only person of color in the room. You know?

Anyway, stay tuned. I feel like these lessons have high potential to spawn a post or a story. Maybe not a Quiet Thoughts but, hell, who knows? It’s all so chaotically whimsical!

Oh, yes, and I’m sure you saw the picture at the top of the post. I’d been wringing my hands all week about my precious first red tomato. Would the birds get to it? The groundhog? The rabbits? The rabbits ate my basil like whoa, so I was extra sure that they were going to get to my precious first tomato!

So when we woke up on Saturday morning and found that not only was my precious tomato unscathed, but three more were ready for picking too, I sent my husband right on over to Ace to gather the materials needed for a steel cage of protection. That’s what I’m calling it. The Mighty Steel Cage of Protection ™.

It wasn’t too difficult to get the chicken wire up (says the woman who didn’t have to do anything but hold up the roll and shoo little boys away), and I’m pleased to say that it is not as ugly as I thought it was going to be. The Husband and I are already scheming about next summer’s crop: tomato cones and garlic sprays and starting seeds during the winter and a separate bed just for flowers… and maybe corn and potatoes?

Oh yes, we’ve been bitten by the bug. This is happening.

The best part? We ate the first two of our tomatoes on Saturday night. I’ve never had anything so delicious. I can’t wait to freeze some of them for winter soup!

Let’s have a great week, Dear Reader! What are you up to?

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