This past weekend was, as the title of this post may imply, Layla's first holiday weekend. Well, since Father's Day. Maybe I should have added on "At Home", but I think it scans better without that. Can't even edit myself. So it goes.
Anyway. It was her first long holiday weekend at home. Once upon a time, before we had a baby, we'd have spent such a holiday weekend lounging in and by the pool, drinking beer, barbecuing, and visiting with friends.
How'd we spend this long holiday weekend?
Lounging in and by the pool, drinking (somewhat less) beer, barbecuing, and visiting with friends.
So, pretty much business as usual.
I even got a good amount of work on The King's Glamour, and will hopefully move on to Chapter Twelve in the next night or so, though that was more after hours stuff. Once the girls went to sleep and all that.
Here's something: Layla loves going into the pool. Oh, she was tentative at first: I dipped her toes into the water and she shot me a concerned look. I smiled and assured her everything was fine, and -- glunk! -- in she went. Happy as a clam. Or an otter. Or some sort of water-based animal known for being cheery.
She splashes around, kicks her feet, and is constantly trying to dunk her face into the water. Seriously. I worked as a lifeguard when I was younger (I should insert a "much" in there, I suppose), and one of the ways we made extra money was to give swimming lessons to kids. I cannot remember any kid swimming for the first time being so eager to submerge herself as my ridiculous, amazing daughter.
Partly I think it's our not indicating to her that there's anything to be concerned with. At least some of it's got to be genetics. I've always been at home on and in the water, and if she gets to enjoy boats and swimming as much as I have during my life, that'd be a grand, glorious thing.
What else? I burned the bratwurst but they were still tasty. And writing, which is a great thing. I had one of those moments, messing around with notes, where one of the supporting character's stories just opened before me like a rose. This is a person who was never supposed to be as present as they've been, and I already had cool plans for them, but now their story is moving up a notch. And their interaction with Ellie should be much more interesting for all that, too.
Up above, I wrote this past weekend was "business as usual". That's a thing parents do so they don't scare their skittish friends and relations away from having kids. "Sure, we still do all that stuff," you'll say, or try to say. Sometimes it's even true.
What's the truth? The truth is this was way better with Layla along for the ride. Hopping in the pool used to be this relaxing, lazy sort of thing we did. Now it's exciting and crazy and amazingly fun. I'm not talking about going down the water slide on your face kind of fun. It's little things you'd never consider.
Here: I was holding her and splashing around and my face was getting hot. So I dunked under -- holding her up -- and I could feel her wriggling around up top. My first thought was she was freaking out, terrified I'd vanished or been gobbled up from below. That's me bringing my I'm-in-a-swimming-pool-and-what-if-there's-a-shark phobia because imagination.
For Layla, however, it was an adventure! She was giggling like crazy! Laughing up a storm! Exclamation point!
That's what having kids does. Yeah, there's stuff you might not do for a while -- we haven't been to the movies at all this summer -- but you also see little things in BIG ways now. Like dunking under water or swinging around splashing. Seeing that stuff through new eyes forces you to see it new, too.
This blog is about writing, so the lesson should be something like "always try to see the world as if you're seeing it for the first time". But I think that'd be cheap if I went there, so I won't.
Kid loves the pool.