Sunday, October 01, 2023

Polar plunge II (the last day of pool season)

On Friday afternoon I took the (healthy) kids to the pool. Miriam was feeling under the weather and, having rallied her energy to fulfill a few obligations in her schedule, wasn't feeling up to going to the pool with us (not even to lounge on the deck). So we left her at home while we headed to the pool to enjoy the very last day of swimming before admitting that autumnal temperatures are really upon us.

Andrew was out grocery shopping when we left (I figured he wouldn't want to come) but texted me to say that he was on the way to join us! The kids were all overjoyed because...dragging Daddy to the pool is quite the trick. He came with us once in May when the pool season opened...nearly drowning Alexander...and hasn't been back with us since. 

It doesn't help that we tend to go to the pool in the early afternoons before the schools let out so we can have the pool mostly to ourselves. Andrew is always having to work...

But Zoë wrote a story that guilted Andrew into taking an afternoon off to splash around with us. It's called Witching Hour and it goes like this:

"When will it be the witching hour?" asked Melissa. 

"At midnight," said her too busy dad.

Melissa couldn't wait for witching hour to come, and now, she was old enough to fly with the other witches!

She was very excited. Witching hour only came once a year, on every Halloween! Flying with the other witches was a class assignment.

In school, all of her friends had flown with an adult, and with a friend, but Melissa wasn't allowed to fly without her mom or dad!

"What time is it now?" she asked.

"11:30 PM," answered her dad.

"Get ready. We need to be up in the air by 11:50!" said her mom.

A few minutes later, Melissa came down the stairs with her broom, black cat, and lucky necklace. Her mother was wearing a black dress, black hat, and green and black striped stockings. Her mom also had a black cat, and a broomstick. 

Melissa's dad had to stay home and work, so it was just she and her mom.

When they were outside, her mom told her this: "When you get on, remember—hold on tight so you won't fall off."

"Yes, I know, Mom," said Melissa.

The night sky was filled with witches galore!

There were some in the field, getting ready to take off, most already in the air, and of course, trick-or-treaters going from house to house, knocking on doors, and promising a trick if they didn't get a treat.

Melissa's job, her teacher said, was to make sure all the little kids got treats.

Melissa flew and cast spells, made fireworks (made of candy, of course) and made it rain candy.

Soon, though, it started raining for real, and Witching Hour was over.

"Time for bed, Melissa."

"Yes, I know. I'm getting in bed."

"Good night."

"Good night!"

Then Melissa went to bed. The end.

I don't know what kind of trick-or-treaters are out at midnight, but I do know what kind of dad reads a story like that and decides to take the afternoon off work—our dad! 

All the kids were excited, but Alexander was especially excited because he had been wanting to exact revenge on Andrew all summer and had a two-fold plan in place: Step one—let Dad push him into the pool again, but this time swim to the side of the pool in perfect five-year-old form. Step two—push Dad into the pool to see how he likes it!

Even though the water was...chilly...Andrew went along with Alexander's revenge. After all, revenge is a dish best served cold!

Daddy is way more fun at the pool than I least for the past few year when I've been pregnant or carting around a, like...forever. I always end up holding babies and telling my big kids to go be wild and splashy away from the baby. 

Andrew jumps right in there and goes wild alongside the kids...while I hold the baby. 

In Andrew's defense, Phoebe absolutely did not want to go to him (especially after she saw him chuck the kids into the pool repeatedly (and being chucked in herself a few times)), so all he was left with were the bigger kids. But they sure had fun with him!

This picture of Alexander squirting Andrew's face as he's jumping into the pool is just too great, I think:

Here you can see Zoë trying to soak up some warmth from the deck (it had been sunny a bit earlier in the afternoon, so the deck was quite warm still).

We made sure to take some group pictures before we left (and look—we're back in the sunshine):

After I took a couple, Zoë volunteered to take some with me in them (since I'm usually the one who takes them to the pool, anyway):

That was sweet of her! Here's one that we took after she prompted us to be silly:

It's hard to believe I have all these zillion swimsuits and towels drying in my bathroom for the last time this season. 

I was going to say that they'll be ready for me to pack them away until the spring...but I just realized that I should probably wash them before I pack them which case...why am I letting them drip dry in my bathroom?

I guess I will wash them next week and then put everything away.


  1. I love Z's story! The ending is maybe a little abrupt, but the beginning is really well developed. She is a good writer.