Thursday, February 23, 2012

Surf 'n Turf

What a weekend it was!

We had our first Christmas-Gift-Adventure-Experience (our second, if you count the ice skating last month) to an awesome indoor pool complete with splash-park type slides, a current channel, two big swirly slides, a diving well, and swimming lanes. I posted this drawing on our refrigerator on Friday afternoon as a reminder of the fun Christmas gift we could anticipate for several days:
(The kids got an Ed Emberly drawing book for Christmas that I, er, they, love to use during afternoon art sessions).

I love this picture. I took it during the 15 minute rest break for kids, and Pax kept trying to sneak back into the pool. Normally so shy and chagrined if ANYONE reprimands him, let alone a stranger-lifeguard, Pax could care less about who was whistling at him. He was hellbent on being in the water no matter what anyone else had to say about it. I love how much this boy loves to be in the water. We've said it from the start - he is a fish! (Jeff thinks it's all because of his water birth into this world.)

... here, we're near the diving well watching Jeff perform a million and one fancy dives, channeling his former 17-year-old diving team self.

I love this picture because of the woman who took it. She seemed to sense this was not just an ordinary trip to an indoor pool. She seemed to sense the special-ness of our afternoon, possibly realizing that it was a gift. She seemed to want us to have this afternoon captured, and she offered to take the picture. I loved that - I wasn't going to bother anyone, wasn't going to ask, and there she was, wanting to help us preserve this memory.

Our adventure became one of those rare outings where the kids didn't whine, where there wasn't any fighting or bickering. Brothers excitedly demonstrated new tricks they'd developed in the water, and waited patiently at the top of the slide for another brother to catch up. Pax's lips were so blue the lifeguard asked if he'd just eaten a blue lollipop, yet he refused to get out of the water to warm up because he was having too much fun. The afternoon held so much laughter and smiles shared and lots of look at hims murmured between Mom and Dad, each of us wanting the other to catch sight of and enjoy one beautiful quiet moment after another. At the end, we were all waterlogged and worn out, and yet we still laughed about Pax hiding in the lockers; we didn't get impatient when Leo wouldn't put his shoes on; we simply waited when Aidan lingered too long, reading all of the brochures. It was magic. Kind of like Christmas.

(I also love the photo because it bears an uncanny resemblance to the picture I drew on Friday, don'tcha think?)

We left the pool, bundled warmly with damp hair, and drove home to be greeted with this sight:

Naturally, Jeff and I felt like the Most Amazing and Awesome Parents in the Entire Universe to arrange for swimming AND sledding all in one day (surf and turf, get it?) Talk about a Christmas gift! Our first (and likely only!) snow delivered a generous 6 inches, enough for plenty of sledding and snow angels. Monday was already a day off of school, and we spent the morning outside, reveling.

The weekend had one final gem to offer. In taking this photo, Pax delivered the ultimate icing on the cake: a brand new word to add to his small-yet-growing vocabulary. Without any prompting on my part at all, when I held up the camera to take this shot, Pax yelled "CHEESE!" with the accompanying grin. Not only did he use a new word, proudly, loudly, recognizably - I have the photographic evidence to prove it!

(P.S. Please note the infamous Carter Trash Bag Snow Pants on Leo. I had snow pants this year for Aidan and Pax, but none for Leo. Initially, Aidan loved his cool snow pants, but as soon as he found out Leo was having Trash Bag Pants, he said, "Leo, you are so lucky! I LOVE trash bag pants! I wish Mom didn't get me these snow pants so I could have them too!" )


Susan said...

Love reading about your gift adventures....wish I had thought of them when you and Adam were kids!

gthiele said...

Just got around to reading this blog and I LOVE it and the great photos.
Agree with your mom...wish I had thought of these gift adventures, almost makes me want a "do over" with my kids....well maybe not :) I'm already thinking of "gift adventures" for grandkids. A better plan!