Saturday, June 07, 2014

Where I Feel Like a Good Mom


My lofty goal for this week has been to get a base tan. And see my son finish second grade. But the base tan is pretty important because the hubs and I are going on a beach getaway soon. If I go with white skin I will fry like a chicken. 

So in my effort to slightly darken the epidermis, the kids and I have spent a ton of time in the pool. This is our happy place. The kids love it when I have second or third hair day and I'm willing to get my hair wet. "Yay! Mom's getting her hair wet!" they yell. I feel like a good mom when I play with them there. I feel like a lame-o mom when I stink at playing Barbies or can't have an intelligent conversation about Minecraft. 

Swimming makes me feel like a kid again, so it's easy to pretend we're exploring Mars or to body slam Jackson into the water, which is his favorite thing. Our new game for the summer is this: the kids stand at the edge of the pool and I set a beach ball to them. The goal is to jump in the air, hit it, and land in the water. It feels like volleyball so it's a win for everyone. 

Don't tell Jackson I said this, but sometimes I like to cradle him in my arms because in the water he's not too heavy to pick up. Gosh, I don't even know the last time I would've been able to pick him up like that in normal gravity conditions. (So sciencey!) He squints his eyes, his whole body shakes, and he laughs really hard as I say, "Oh, my little baby Jackson. You are so sweet. Too bad your diapers are so stinky." 

(A note to any first-time boy moms: you will need to summon the potty humor you once had when you were four years old. Every now and then it will win your son's heart and you will be his dream mom.)

On my first day in the pool, which was a whole month after the kids started swimming in the freezing cold water, I gathered him in my arms like a baby and said something to make him laugh. His elbows, knees and feet were bonier and more forceful than I remembered. I'm sure I came out with a few little bruises. His legs hung over my right elbow and dipped deeper into the water than before. Annabeth was bigger too. When she rode on my back while I swam across the pool, it wasn't quite as easy as last year. They are growing!

All winter long I regretted our decision to put that pool in. We rendered our back yard useless for half the year when we did it. I missed the days when I could make the kids go outside and jump on the trampoline or swing by themselves. Our play structure was exiled to my mom's house and our trampoline was dismantled for lack of room. But now it's hot and I'm remember why we did this. We all love it and we love one another well with splashes and dunks and dives. 

What is your favorite way to bond with your kids? When do you feel like a good mom? 

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The kids' first swim was back in April. This is Annabeth's face after she jumped in and came out of the water. Complete and utter shock. She forgot how to swim for a second because it was so cold! 


They begged and begged to get in and only lasted 12 minutes. 


Jackson requested this picture yesterday.


My first swim a couple of weeks ago.


*Ironically, I have ignored my kids for the last hour while writing this post, so I feel like lame-o mom again. ;) 

16 comments:

Johnnie said...

Amanda, you are a wonderful Mom! Lucky Jackson and AB.

Deborah Boutwell said...

My babies are now 26 and 20, but every Sunday, I get together with my daughter (26) and we do arts & crafts. When my son (20) comes home from college (about once a month) we watch movies together. Enjoy your time with them and enjoy the pool!

ChelseaSalomone said...

My boys are 2.5 and 10 weeks. Since my second son was born I've felt all kinds of guilt about giving my oldest boy the shaft. So much of my time is spent trying to keep him occupied and busy so I can feed/change/hold baby. But like you, I feel like he and I have reconnected in the pool these last few weeks. While the baby is sleeping in the swing he and I jump and swim and splash and pretend to be Corvettes (OMG!) in our pool. Enjoyed this post!!

crista said...

I feel like a good mom when I create space in which all of us feel comfortable with what is expected of us--rules, schedule, performance...whatever. I hate being a defensive parent, and it takes just a little bit of foresight as a mom to be sure I create a good framework of operation for my people. Everyone feels more free that way!

PS. Excellent use of potty humor.

Angela Carson said...

The pool is our happy place too. Setting up the sprinkler in the yard and anything that will entertain them with water is in my groove...although I rarely get wet with them. They're happy though so I feel like a fun mom anyway. ;)

Sarah said...

Love it. Love that last pic especially. You're so peaceful. Enjoy. :)

Hannah Turner said...

I feel like a good mom when my boys (ages 7 and 10) ask me to stay in their rooms after they've gone to bed and "talk" (10-year-old speak) or "snuggle" (7-year-old speak). Some nights it just can't happen because it's too late or there are things that must be done, but I try to make it happen on a fairly regular basis because they both love it so much.

Thanks for your posts, Amanda. I enjoy reading them each time you take the time to put life into words.

Amy Beth Gardner said...

My girls had never played with baby dolls before they came to live with us so right now, I am trying to get them in baby doll heaven. We have a crib, a high chair, a bathtub, a car seat, etc. I also just ordered the first book in The Babysitter's Club series for my nine year old. Passing down the legacy, you know.

That last picture of you -- frame it. It's gorgeous.

This Is The Day said...

I have a hard time finding balance. I feel guilty for not spending more quality time with my kids even though I am home with them 24-7. Maybe I just need to find one activity where I can be "the good mom". :)

Kathleen said...

You are such a good mom!

Erica said...

I feel like a good mom when I take time to paint the girls toenails...when I say 'yes' when my natural response is 'no'.
Funny, I was going to write a post about saying 'yes' to swimming with my girls...they love it and it's great for me, too!

Amanda said...

So fun! My kids have grown so much too! I do the exact same thing with my oldest boy Isaac in the pool. He is almost 10 and i want to break out into tears everytime I let that sink in! The best time we all have to together is definitely when we all play "just dance"! Anna's 8 and Sarah is 5 and then you throw Isaac in there and we are an all out dance party! I am totally the mom who doesn't let her kids win. Bad, I know, but my competitive streak is too powerful. When they do win the celebration between us all is priceless! Its the best time we all relax and let loose!

Ganise C. said...

Seing this made me happy. Thanks for the smiles :)

Tara G. said...

We home school and sometimes I feel so lame when I just want to sit and veg out after lunch rather than play games...because I just spent intense hours one on one! But if I can include a craft- score! Or wake them up and take them for donuts in their pj's. Most of the time, it's little things, I guess, and I'm finding that as the ages change, so do the activities that make us all feel like it was a win-win.

Jennifer said...

I get the lame-o mom feeling when I'm so focused on my list of things to do. This summer, I set a goal for myself to capture with pictures at least one event every day so by the end I have an album full of pictures....even if it's only on facebook and never printed out. Sadly, I never grew out of my potty humor so my son gets that all the time. I can be very lady-like when I need to be, but it's an act so that I can have mature female friendships. I feel like supermom when they get excited over little things.....like a surprise trip for ice cream, an unexpected favorite dinner, or when i figured out i could use part of my exercise equipment to build the perfect single occupant tent dwelling in the living room.

amybhill said...

i feel like a good mom when i let them help me. my girls LOVE to help - but it usually seems easier to just to do it myself. when i let them help, though, we accomplish something and always seem to have a good time just talking and working hard together. these are sweet times, aren't they? i often reference priscilla sharer's hilarious account of running into a woman in the grocery store who told her this would be over in a blink. She blinked. It wasn't over. But still, its true, isn't it? Its over in a blink… love to you amanda <3