To Whom it May Concern,
I started this the other day, then was called away for some sort of child care duty or another and never posted it. As my son is yelling at the top of his lungs about not wanting to go to sleep, and it is rubbing my last nerve down to a nub, I am using a post from last week. Thank you for reading.
I took Lucy to swimming class today. Tennessee needed to keep his fresh stitches out of the water, so he stayed home with his dad and helped fold laundry. Lucy isn't a big fan of swimming class, but she has been doing pretty well lately. Less sobbing, more blowing bubbles. As we sat waiting for her class to start, we saw another little girl come on to the pool deck with her dad. Lucy pointed her out to me. "That is Frances, she is in my class." Frances looked nice enough, her suit seemed sensible, she didn't give me the finger or anything, little did I know she was a contagious cryer.
The Lucy and her swimming class mates were all perched on the inflatable "table". Sort of a launching pad for little swimmers, complete with plastic hand rails for them to hang off of. The swimming teacher took them through a series of progressively more difficult floating and bubble blowing exercises. Lucy was holding it together despite being flipped from her back to her front and pushed under water in order to teach her to find the edge of the pool. She sputtered a bit and tried to hang on to the teacher more vehemently than the other kids, but she didn't cry. Then came Frances' turn. The poor little dear came back ofter her turn and began sobbing, first quietly. Then her dad at the edge of the pool tried to console her a little bit, silly Daddy. Frances took her fathers bit of sympathy and turned it into a giant campaign of wailing and snot, determined to get her dad to pull her out of the water. Her father tried to strike the ever difficult balance between kind and firm, letting her know that did indeed need to finish her swim lesson. All of the noise little Frances was making was wearing down the other little kids. The girl who was having trouble focusing started to wander away from the class. The boy making dinosaur noises got louder and floppier. Lucy started to sniffle along with her classmate.
There was only five minutes left of the swim lesson, but five minutes is a looong time when you are four and trying not to cry. Lucy's little lip popped out and she shuddered away a sob or two. Then it was her turn for floating on her back. As soon as she was away from the little floating barge she sobbed uncontrollably. The dinosaur boy sniffled a little, and the quiet boy with the serious face started welling up. The girl who couldn't pay attention got out of the pool and horsed and wiggled, making her mother glare and point and whisper threats. Frances' wailing became so loud that people doing laps in the big pool stopped to look, expecting to see a child being drowned. Her father apologized over and over again. I nodded and smiled and told him not to worry, thinking all the while "better you than me sucker."
Lucy sniffled through her shower then cheered up when I offered to stop for a pancake on the way home. While we waited for our pancakes, Lucy ate tiny bits of whip cream off of her hot chocolate and explained that she hadn't wanted to cry, but that she was just so worried about Frances that she couldn't help it. I do love my sensitive little mouse.