Dear Smiley Mom who READS at the Public Pool

Dear smiley mother who reads daily at the public pool:

You don’t know me. I, on the other hand, know you quite well. You have brought at least four paperbacks, two library books and countless new Kindle Fire downloads to the pool this month. (Great purchase.  Awesome cover!) If I’m not mistaken, you read an average of three books a week. I’m insanely jealous.

I saw you smiling at me and the kids last week. The way we interacted. You laughed when I ran after them. You chuckled when I sprinted twenty times to the bathroom with my two year old every time she loudly proclaimed, “I have to go potty!”.

I glared at your book. Your new read, the one I have been eyeing-up on Amazon.


I’m sorry.

You talked to my kids. You engaged them in conversation. You enjoyed seeing their sticky ice cream hands, listening to their stories about slides and watching their adventures in the sandbox. You really cared. You listened.

I, on the other hand, gave you the evil-eye while you basked in the sun with your new book on your lap. I grew more jealous with every page you turned.

My summer experience is still fuzzy. My pool experience is a hectic, sticky, hot, messy blur.

While you were reading, I ran after a two-year old tornado who refused to use flotation devices or swim diapers. *exhausting*

While you turned pages, I searched for my six year old’s bobbing head in the “big pool.” She’s  finally comfortable  swimming in the deep end. *panic-inducing*

While you downloaded yet another new book, I kept the eyes in the back of my head  fine-tuned to check my eight-year old and his new friend (acquaintance). *stressful*

I’ve been jealous of you. Very jealous. I’m sorry. So sorry. But thank you.

I’m grateful for my “now”: three crazies and what that entails. The sticky hands, the whiney messes, the unavoidable meltdowns.


Changing diapers does seem easier than driver’s licenses and drop-offs to a new college. I’m taking it, absorbing it and learning to love it…or at least truly appreciating it and not wishing a second away.


Until next summer…or many, many after that. Enjoy turning pages. My time will come.


P.S. Please excuse my “stink-eye”. It’s purely out of love.

Categories: Family, Michelle

Tags: , , , , ,

9 replies

  1. After many summers like yours, this summer I finally was the woman at swimming classes smiling at her current read, not minding the terrible hot summer months as long as I could have that hour to read… It felt good to finally be here, though I am glad I consciously lived (suffered) the past summers because they made this one all the more joyous, sweat and all… great post, thanks, Alexandra

  2. Oh, this is SO true. I just got back from the pool with my little ones who are 5 and 2, and I was so exhausted that I took a nap right along with them when we got home. I, too, give the stink eye to the women who are sitting in those little close-to-the-ground lounge chairs with their feet in the shallow end and their noses in a book. How I look forward to those days…but am enjoying these days, too. Great post. 🙂

    • I hear ya, Shay! Do you ever find time to read? If so, how? I try at night and end up snoozing up to the pages. I think I’ve mastered secretly napping with my little one too. : )

  3. You may not believe it now, but I am the mom with the book gazing nostalgically, even enviously sonetimes, at the busy moms with young children. I am forever trying to freeze time or at least slow it down, and seeing little ones with sticky fingers calling for mommy reminds me how quickly the years have flown by. Parenting is HARD, and the challenges just keep changing. You are an amazing mom for being able to truly appreciate this way-too-short time and for being able to accept the challenges of this stage with a sense of humor. You have three very lucky children.

    • Than you, Lisa. That means a lot. You are so right! The challenges, just keep changing…so true. Looking forward to what lies ahead. Book (or not) in hand.

  4. I am also that lady with the book smiling at you feeling a little envious of times gone by. Don’t get me wrong, I am so enjoying my life now as it has tremendously slowed down, but would so give anything to go back even for a little while. Back then I dreamed of the days where I wouldn’t have to run my kids here and there and thought could I have just one day, one day to myself. Now I say, enjoy every minute, all the sticky hands, mouths, fusses, smiles, laughs, etc. for one day you will be saying wow where did the time go. Please don’t be jealous. : ) You too will have your time to read all you want. You are an awesome mom. How can we tell – just look at your kid’s smiles!

    • Thank you, Kathy. That brought happy tears to my eyes. Will I forever carry around wet wipes? Or, will that too pass? 🙂 Thank you for reading. It’s so true. I DO love this…learning to love my NOW everyday more.

  5. So true! I don’t want teenagers yet…or ever.

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