Saturday, October 4, 2008

The Great Equalizer

Over the summer, one of our constant "slacker" activities was the community pool. Without fail, every time that the hubbers would call and find out that we were at the pool the name calling would commence. And not just from him. He would get all of his co-workers in on it too. Apparently they thought I was there just working on my tan...apparently none of them have been to a pool with two children under the age of 7 lately...let alone 4 children under the age of 7. It is a constant exercise in vigilance. "where is Sabrina?" "Is Sebastian running?" "Does he look like he is getting a little sunburned?" "Is she shivering?" "Is there a logical reason that this pool is like an ice bath all day, every day?"...that and of course the constant female concern of "Am I the fattest, oldest mom here?" "Do I look as bad as her in that suit?" "Will I ever wear a bikini again?"... There was also the back breaking work of cponverting 2 non-swimmers into proficient little fishies. It was with no small amount of pride that we closed out the summer as a family of 4 swimmers.

In the midst of all this frantic and repetitive thought and direction came an interesting realization:

Kids today are alot different than they were back in the day.

Our youth is much more mature, much more savvy, much more entitled and much less "child-like" than I remember us being...until you dunk them in the water.

At the pool, nobody is the poor kid...or the geeky kid...or ironically enough, even the fat kid. At the pool, you play with whomever is there. Nobody has a nicer cellphone than you do, and no one has a higher score on their DS, because in the water, those things get WET and FIZZLE and DON'T WORK! In the water, sullen mini-adults, who are usually strutting their stuff and trying to be way more alluring and provocative than their years should allow jump and splash around like the 12, 13 and 14 year olds that they really are. Tweens that are usually trying to channel Miley Cyrus or some such thing are squeezing their eyes shut, reaching their arms out and calling "Marco???"

This reflection set me very much at ease. I looked around at all of the young, wet people and saw only what summer was meant to be, breathless, waterlogged, carefree fun.

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