Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Ralph Waldo Emerson Trust 30 Challenge: Alive-est, With My Kids.

This Trust 30 prompt is from Sam Davidson. The charge is to recall a recent time when I felt most alive. Record the scene, feelings, even the smells. That recollection recorded can serve as motivator whenever I hit the wall.

Summertime and the Livin' is???
This summer had all the requisite protocol for disaster. The kids weren't going to camp, my wife rejoined the workforce (2nd shift, no less) and July was hotter than a pizza oven. My wife had always originated kids activities, but now it was my turn. I wasn't worried about taking care of my kids, but keeping them occupied and engaged well... I was a bit concerned.  Then voila, the obvious smacked me in the face and a plan was hatched.

It's Fun to Play at the YMCA.
We  were lucky enough to be gifted a summer membership to the local YMCA. In the middle of the heat wave I checked the YMCA pool schedule and found that Tuesday and Thursday evenings were conducive for a family swim. In order to beat the heat and help the kids burn some energy, I decided we would go the next night, Thursday.

The Waiting is the Hardest Part.
Thursday was a day full of excitement. The kids wanted to get ready for the pool at lunchtime, even though we weren't going until after dinner. I set 4 PM as the get ready time to avoid them waking up the next pool day and going from pajamas to swimsuits. The picture of my daughter coming to dinner in her pink cover up, pink swim goggles and purple backpack will stay with me forever. And that was merely a beginning.

Jump in, the Water's Fine.
I had some concerns, especially about taking them into water without my wife's help. The kids are 51/2 years apart and both are blessed with ADHD. Additionally my son has Asperger's Syndrome. Turns out, I had nothing to worry about. Like most kids, my kids love the water. This wasn't always the case with my son but this summer was different. We all played catch. My son and I watched my daughter go down the waterslide repeatedly.  My son found a rubber duck which I proceeded to put on a duck shaped hard foam sponge creating a rubber duck on a duck raft. (This became our 1st thing in the pool ritual).  My daughter even made up a game: "Floatie in the Middle". Instead of "Monkey in the Middle" the one in the middle held up a swim noodle in a semi circle and the ball had to pass thru the noodle on the way to the other player. These Y trips were among the best parts of summer. Whenever I smell chlorine, these swim nights will always come to mind. I consider this event(s) an example of how my family and I can rise to an occasion simply by getting with the program. I put aside my concerns to get things done. The results were better than I could have imagined.

What about you? Any examples of how you forged ahead and felt great?

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