So I had a mad Saturday morning on the weekend just gone.
You see, the way that Team Evans’ week is structured, Mrs YWS gets to get away each Saturday morning. She scores a sleep in and heads out for a healthy looking eggs benedict + coffee that generally gets photographed and Facebooked about 2.3 seconds after delivery; narrowly defeating the 3.8 seconds it takes to scoff the aforementioned meal.
I get quality and quantity time with my ‘little’ bug a lugs and a growing appreciation of the relentlessness of full time parenting. I actually look forward to it, though the 6-7am get-up on the first morning of the weekend can be a little jarring.
Anyway … I gotta be honest. I’m surrounded by parents, many of my friends are veteran child rearers, I work alongside them at schools, my world is literally full of people who are connected to kids I know or teach.
Where’s the heads up?!
Therefore, I’m a little miffed that not one of them pulled me aside in the first few weeks or months since Joshy was born and said – ‘Never, ever, under any circumstances, take your child to a public pool on a Saturday morning.’
Where were the warnings, peoples?!
First off, 2/3 of the pool was roped off for kids learning to swim, dads paying $15 for the privilege of being taught how to hold their baby in the water; I’ll save you the $120 for the entire program – it’s with their head out of the water! So we’re not starting with a vast expanse of playspace to begin with.
The rest of us summer Saturday morning ‘General swim’ plebs were left to fight to the death for a square foot of space in 50cm high water.
Then there were the 5 to 7 year olds running rampant, splashing around – ‘Be careful, don’t you get tiny amounts on chlorinated water near my angel son’s face!!’ Youths…
There were parents of young uns also searching for a little spot of heaven, hotted up mums in bikinis with their sunglasses still on in the indoor pool – um, this is Croydon – just keep the moccasins on, parents trying to make sure their kid didn’t eat the lane rope, smack someone in the head while endeavouring to pull off a handstand or attempt a backflip dive off in the edge into 30cm of water … ahh the joys of parenting.
Oh, and of course there was the customary parents ‘swimming’ right on the lane rope, pathetically pretending to relax yet watching their children in lessons like hawks. I’ll give you a tip folks, they’re with highly trained and experienced 14 year old swim instructors – they’ll be fine. And get out of the water while you’re at it; you’re taking up valuable space.
So, for my first time in the Saturday morning kerfuffle, just looking for a little water relaxation and space to get the little fella finding his comfort levels in the pool and kick his feet a little, it was kinda full on.
My 8 month old son, who has definitively found his voice, hardly said a word for the first 45 minutes, looking shellshocked, taking it all in and wondering why on earth he wasn’t at home watching Wiggles DVDs. Short answer; we don’t have any…
As much as I was enjoying this time with my son, and believe me, for all the busyness of the pool, I wouldn’t have swapped it for the world, there was anticipation for what was coming next. I still had in my head, ‘It’s ok. You get to chill in the arvo with a couple of NBA games.’
In the midst of chaos, a full 641 days after I began the year without sport back in May ‘11, I still looked to sport to be the great relaxer, the aspiration, the reward.
And once again, it wasn’t.
Later, after three or four hours of blahh games that I had no real emotional attachment to, there a-gain was that feeling of emptiness that came from wasting away a Saturday afternoon, on my own, watching sport.
I should have stayed in the pool
It wasn’t so much that I didn’t try to get people to come along and watch a game or two with me, I really did. People were busy; no probs. I wasn’t fazed that I was taking in the games on my own; hell, I enjoy it!
Or, at least, I thought I did. I mean, you can’t be around people all the time. We had hosted or gone out every night in the week, I was due for some down time.
There was the consideration of a bike ride, but my body felt shot after doing back to back workouts on Thursday and Friday. Saturday was an anticipated day of rest.
I’m not quite sure what the alternative is, or will be, but this was yet another jarring reminder that the answers do not lie in a far off world of supreme athletes and elite competition. With friends, on a Friday or Saturday night, it’s a great unifier. On your own, it can be a complete waste of time, leaving you feeling more tired and less at peace.
My YWS experience should be helpful – what did I do during it? Coffees, movies with friends, read, focal, life-giving and energy-inducing activities. Maybe that’s what we need to get back to and focus our energies on…
It’s a powerful lie, whatever it is that drags our eyes off the important facets of our lives – family, friends, faith, relationships… Media saturation and like-minded friends can prevent us from comprehending the real dangers of filling our world with distractions; fashion, sport, gambling, alcohol, consumerism, technology. “You deserve it.” “It’s just one thing.”
Yet it only takes one powerful distraction, obsession or addiction, term it however you like, to powerfully prevent us from reaching the true potential of our unique design.
There’s playoffs coming up, so there needs to be real thought and consideration given to all this, especially with footy season looming.
That’s if my team even ends up playing…! Go Bombers… 😦