Monday, April 28, 2008

Treading water

Lauren has made friends with a couple of the first graders who live in our neighborhood. Most of our neighbors are either faculty or alumni of the state university, and so they have privileges at the six or so pools on campus. Lauren's friend Kitty was having a Luau Pool Party, and since Lauren is Kitty's ride-to-school buddy (Alice is her ride-home buddy), she was invited. I thought briefly about declining, since all of the neighborhood kids take swimming lessons and Lauren doesn't. But Lauren was really excited about the party.

When I went to drop her off, I entered through an open door to the pool itself. The birthday girl and another girl were already swimming in the pool. Kitty's mom showed me to the locker room to stow Lauren's stuff. Since she had told Alec that it was a drop-off only party, I had not planned to stay.

"Have you been here before?"

"No. It's very nice. What a great place for a party!"

"Does Lauren swim?"

"No." I replied, omitting that she doesn't take swimming lessons because she's actually terrified of water.

Kitty's mom had the staff raise the bottom of the pool a few inches so that Lauren would be able to stand comfortably. "It's fine. Some of the other kids probably don't know how to swim either." She said easily. "You're welcome to stay if you'd like..."

I looked around. No other parents were there. I'd be the sole parent of the only kindergartener. "No," I replied. "Lauren will be fine," with more confidence than I had.

Since the pool had no stairs, I helped Lauren negotiate sliding into the pool from the edge. She looked nervous.

"It's alright, honey. When you get in, the water is only going to be up to your chest and it's really warm like a bath."

She slid in, and grinned when she realized that her arms were above the water level. "Cool." As I left, I saw Kitty toss Lauren off her knee. Expecting a barrage of tears when she was submerged, I hesitated, but Lauren popped back up grinning.

As a parenthetical, here is where I called Karen and asked if she thought Lauren would drown in 2 feet of water. She assured me that was highly unlikely.

I brought Alec and Lindsay back with me to pick up Lauren. We went through the same pool door. There were no children to be seen. I walked into the locker room. Lauren's stuff was no longer in the locker where we'd placed it.

At this point, my dear husband lost his patience. He had not wanted to leave our warm house and his ballgame to retrieve Lauren, and became convinced that I had not read the invitation correctly and/or perhaps our neighbors had absconded with our child. The invitation was in the car, so that part of the myth was dispelled, but still Lauren was no where to be seen.

It occurred to me that there was an entrance to the building on the other side of it, so we drove around it, and there were our neighbors and their children. Alec retrieved Lauren. We were about 10 minutes late to the pick up, and Kitty's mom was about to drive Lauren home.

"Oh, I didn't realize that she didn't know that was the wrong door," said Kitty's mom. "Everyone else came in through the front."

ETA Lauren declared this the best birthday party EVER and asked if she could have her own swimming party.

No comments: