Yesterday I decided to do something different. At the end of the day, when I was about to dash off to pick up the kids from after-school program, I realized that I’ve been intending to take them swimming all winter.
I had decided at the end of the swimming classes that I needed to spend some time in the pool with them, because Sophie (who is 6) is a natural swimmer who keeps regressing every time I send her for lessons, whereas her brother Aidan (10) is just not physical, and keeps having to repeat level three. So rather than pick them up and run the rest of the evening from dinner to bedtime, I packed up swimsuits and towels and we waltzed off to the public swim. I don’t know if it was the day, the time, or the season, but I was the only adult in the pool… and I had a great time. I love swimming, and I wound up only two levels away from being able to lifeguard when I was last swimming regularly. We swam up and down the pool, my daughter gamely decided to try diving after her brother demonstrated, and everybody jumped off the diving board except me. (I can, but I feared a wardrobe failure, since I’ve lost some weight since I bought the suit.)
When we were on the way home, I found myself thinking that this was one of the moments that makes Mom-ing worth the effort. It seems that I need to figure out how to spend more spontaneous time with the kids, because I suspect that it would become a source of stress just like the lessons if I felt I *had* to do it every week. I don’t know about these quality/quantity debates. I spend a good amount of time with the kids, read somebody a story most nights, try to make sure that I’m at least hanging out with them when they are watching movies… but it seems to matter a lot to me that we do something meaningful and different on a quasi-regular basis. Yet another question in the balance of life.