is what I have officially become I realized today. The boys and I were invited to a mostly all day pool party about a half hour away. It was one of those eclectic gatherings at a backyard swimming pool where the kids outnumber the adults by 4 to 1 and the floaties outnumber the kids another two times. Everyone brought their own picnic lunch and snacks and juice boxes. Everyone slathered their own kids with sunscreen and any kid standing in near proximity to their kid. Everyone then counted the number of heads that swam and the number that would try to drown. The pool rules were handed out and the chaos ensued.
Except for me and my crew. They were responsible for packing their own stuff, from towels to sunscreen. They slathered themselves. Okay, I helped the Chairman with getting the stuff on his nose and under his eyes. Mine are all accomplished swimmers so I instructed them to make sure the kids near them were not drowning and asked them to keep it down on the cannonballs.
And then I laid out my towel in my beach chair and sat down with an actual book and began to read. I read two chapters before the noise was too much. I didn't have to count heads. I glanced up now and then to make sure the screams from the littles were not being motivated by my biggers. I had complete conversations that were not punctuated by the voices of the Interrupters. When it was time to eat, everyone fixed their own and cleaned up their own. I ate my lunch in one complete sitting.
Did I feel useless? Inadequate? Unneeded?
Absolutely not! It was divine.
When we left, it was not because anyone was falling apart or needed a nap (although I took a short one when we got home). We didn't have to leave because of bickering or punctured floaties. We left because we had been there long enough and home welcomed us back.
Mothers of littles, this is not a gloat or a boast. It is a picture for you of what one day at the pool will look like for you. One day. And not even all that far off if time travels as quickly for you as for me. So, hang in there with the juice boxes and floaties, with the training on obedience and not interrupting, and with the sibling issues and cleaning up after yourselves. The days pay off.
One day you'll be the old mom at the pool.