Summer is here! The string of photos from my friends with children have been of them playing in the pool. It is officially summertime…acknowledged on my Facebook newsfeed with a stream of blue that comes through as I scroll down.
It brought back a memory I had when I was 9 years old. We had recently moved from the city of Chicago out to a nearby suburb. I didn’t really know any other kids as school hadn’t started and there were not a lot of kids on my block. My Dad had signed us up at the local community pool and he had been the one taking me there since summer started. One Saturday my Dad had to work. It was one of those lazy hot days and I wanted to go to the pool. My Dad wasn’t available so my only option was to ask my Mom.
I spent most of the morning begging her to take me. She kept refusing giving no particular reason. I couldn’t understand why…when we were just sitting at home. I wanted to go so badly. She finally gave in, I think, to shut me up.
I got to the pool and as a minor my Mom had to go into the pool area with me. She sat on the bench next to the pool while I swam and played. I remember feeling guilty for begging her and I kept looking back at her on the bench. She wasn’t watching me. Every time I looked back at the bench she was looking in another direction away from me. Her face clearly showing she didn’t want to be here. I asked her to come in with me but she just turned and grunted ‘No’.
The only time she turned to look at me is when I told her I wanted to go home. That was the first, only and last time my Mom ever took me to the pool.
It is sad to think about this memory but I am mostly sad because I never realized how loving my Dad was. He took me to the pool and got into the pool with me to play. He took me places when my Mom didn’t. We were both abused by her and until recently I hadn’t realized that. He was trying to survive too.