Just Them


I would not normally put the phrases “town pool” and “perfect day” together — for a variety of reasons that are probably obvious to you.

But it happened. Just as we were wrapping up summer.

I actually hadn’t been to the pool all summer. It has just been easier for my husband to take my two older kids most weekends because, really: The nonstop-nursing baby + two kids who are not strong swimmers + deep water + me + sleep deprivation = Not Good At All.

{That is the most accurately complex math I’ve ever performed, BTW.}

But anyway. Over Labor Day weekend, we all ventured to the pool. In addition to my husband, my mom and stepfather came too. So I had an army of reinforcements.

First order of business: Getting in the water with the two older kids. This was the summer my son started going underwater and really swimming. It was a long time coming and the difference was astounding. The confidence he had in himself was glowing. And he was dying to show me everything he could now do in the water.

The baby slept in his stroller — something he doesn’t normally do — and my husband stayed with him, while I was able to say to my oldest in the pool, “Yes, show me. Show me again. Yes, I’d love to see it again. Amazing! Look at you!”

I meant it sincerely, every time. Show me again.

Just you.

And my daughter wanted me to see how she puts her face in the water. How she floats on her back. And could I throw her in the air?

“Yes, show me. Show me again. Yes, I’d love to see it again. You want me to throw you in the air again? OK, again. And again.”

I meant it sincerely, every time. Show me again. I’ll throw you in the air again.

Just you.

And the baby slept and slept — while I had my only swim of the summer with my older kids.

Later on, I got the hand signal from my husband that the baby was finally awake and needed to eat. After the time we spent in the pool, the older kids didn’t seem to mind. {Plus, they had their grandparents as a captive audience.}

The baby ate and then sat with me while I lounged in a pool chair. It was 5pm and the temperature outside was perfect. He slept, again — a deep, sound sleep, on my chest — and a wonderful afternoon breeze came through. And I had this idyllic moment of the late summer air and the smell of an infant and the sound of him sleeping.

Just him.

And in those last moments of summer, I had finally done what I had tried so hard to do for the past three months — what I had beaten myself up over not being able to do: I had given each of my kids my total, undivided attention. With no stress. With no distractions. With no time limits.

And what they had given me was something far greater. They had given me indelible images of a perfect summer afternoon.


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  1. HouseTalkN says:

    “You’re killing me, Smalls!”
    I love this so much. I’m so happy that you found this moment and that you shared it with us. Just you.

  2. Jen says:

    This sounds so lovely. It sounds like everyone had a wonderful time! Perfect way to end the summer!

  3. Karmen says:

    That was beautiful! Don’t beat yourself up too much on the planned quality time. It seems it happens best (for us anyway) when it is spontaneous and completely out of the blue and random. My girls have the weirdest selective memories of “best days” doing the most mundane and unplanned things with me. Enjoy!

  4. Karin Lesko says:

    Simply beautiful, Kim.

  5. Perfection is a gift so rare and so well deserved. This was gorgeous, Kim.

  6. Nicole Shawn says:

    That was absolutely lovely. I love those days. So glad you got one to savor. Just you.

  7. Erica says:

    Superlatives don’t cover this! My throat tightened and my eyes watered. Beautiful, Kim, just beautiful!!

  8. I get it, I love it. So beautifully stated, Kim. I was able to take my 7 year old (3rd out of 4) somewhere the other day and he said “Who else is coming?” I said, “No one. It’s just you,” and the look on his face brought tears to my eyes. I get it, I love it.

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