The Writing Mamas Daily Blog

Each day on the Writing Mamas Daily Blog, a different member will write about mothering.

If you're a mom then you've said these words, you've made these observations and you've lived these situations - 24/7.

And for that, you are a goddess.

Sunday, July 05, 2009


Everybody Into the Pool

I went for a three-day summer jaunt to Calistoga this past week. But instead of lounging in a mud bath and being massaged, I spent my time in the pool with two eight-year-olds, my daughter, Miranda, and her good friend, Marlena.

My sister, Kathy, rounded out our little family. It wasn’t a true nuclear family, more of an extended one, auntie, mommy, daughter, and friend.  But we had a good time watching movies in the room, eating cupcakes for breakfast, not setting eyes on a vegetable or anything green. I even conveniently forgot everything on my “must-do” list.

It was as close to a wild weekend as I get traveling with my daughter. My sister, Kathy, is a firm believer in being in the moment. This means whatever the girls want, they get. Our bedtime routine includes eating huge bowls of vanilla and chocolate chip cookie dough ice cream in bed while watching a “Harry Potter,” movie.

 “But,” the guilty mother part of me says, “what about brushing your teeth?” To which the rest of my family looks bored, yawns and goes to sleep, at midnight.

This should mean a wake-up call of say, 10 a.m.? Instead, the girls bounce out of bed at 7 and I, slinging the entire contents of the hotel coffee maker down in one gulp say, “Sure, you can watch another Harry Potter movie.”

Kathy and I are sitting on the bed in our little room, listening to the growing boredom in front of the TV.

“This is too scary.”

“Then close your eyes.”

“I don’t want to close my eyes.”

“I want to watch the movie.”

That’s when a brilliant idea comes to mind, “Let’s go swimming!” I say, emptying the contents of the second pot of coffee. Kathy smiles at me and says “I’ll take the next shift.” She slumps down and goes to sleep.

The girls and I get dressed and walk out to the pool. That’s when I realize this hotel was going to be a bit, well, problematic.

You see, at first we had stayed at the kid-friendly one but it filled up. So we moved to another hotel with a covered pool. No worries about sunscreen here. But the two hot tubs in addition to the large pool should have given me a clue. More adults, fewer children. And with more adults, well, more worry on my part. Are the girls bothering them? Will I have to keep saying, “Don’t splash, kids.”

Miranda and Marlena ran to the pool. They jumped into the deep end. The splash, wave and giggles caused heads to turn in the hot tubs. One gentleman took a big gulp of his wine. Another woman pursed her lips and shook her head. A different lady shook out her “People” magazine with Michael Jackson on the cover, furrowed her brow and pulled the reading material so it covered her face.

I wondered as I dumped the towels on an empty table and followed the girls in, if these people had ever been children. Did they remember the fun of jumping into a pool on a hot day? Did they play “Ring around the Rosy?” in the shallow end?

Or was it my fault that their silence had been shattered by the laughter and energy of youth?

I walked over to the cooler hot tub where the woman resolutely kept her face glued to the magazine. I could see the girls easily while I stood in the tub. Their play made me smile. I remembered something Barbara Kingsolver wrote in “High Tide in Tucson,” her book of essays.

"The way we treat children - all of them, not just our own, and especially those in great need - defines the shape of the world we'll wake up in tomorrow." I wondered as I watched the man drinking at 10 in the morning and the woman devouring information on Michael Jackson, how they had been treated as children. I contemplated if they had played and no one had paid attention. I questioned why the splash and shriek of joy was harsh upon their ears.

I made my decision and climbed out of the adult hot tub and jumped into the deep end of the kids’ pool. I joined in “Ring Around the Rosy” and as I saw my child and her friend smile, I reveled in my delight in joining them, and I remembered why I love these getaway days.

By Georgie Craig

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