Since our pool opened two weekends ago, we’ve headed there as soon as Cera gets out of school each day (as long as it’s sunny, that is) and stayed until closing. My kids both are complete water babies (wonder where they got that?), but our time at the pool has once again made me realize how different they are socially.
Cera is in the pool before I’ve even had a chance to slip off my shoes, and if she doesn’t immediately find one of her friends, she makes a new one. My favorite is a second-grader named Patrick, whom I’ve nicknamed “Tomato Jr.” because of his uncanny resemblance to snowboarder and skateboarder Shaun White (seriously, picture the man below as an 8-year-old, and that would be Patrick).
Not only is the kid friendly and super polite, he’s also got that shock of red hair that makes him – and, thus, Cera – easy to spot among the dozens of other swimmers. Anyway, Cera flits from one activity to the next – playing tag, diving for torpedos, jumping off the deck, practicing flips and handstands – moving from friend to friend as other parents herd their kids home at a decent hour. I scan the pool to check on her every few minutes, and she tracks me down when she needs a snack or has to go to the bathroom, but otherwise, we catch up with one another when it’s time to leave.
Anthony, on the other hand, is content to don his goggles and entertain himself (with Mama just a few feet away, of course – sometimes I think I’m a bit overprotective). He swims underwater until he needs to come up for air, then plunges immediately back down. Occasionally, he’ll ask me to race him or check out his “tricks” – like the “wicked twister” (a play on one of his favorite hockey phrases, “wicked wrister”), where he throws a dive stick, grabs it before it hits the bottom of the pool and then twists underwater – but for the most part, he is off in his own little world. When he bumps into one of his preschool classmates (and I mean literally bumps into – he doesn’t pay too much attention to what’s going on around him), he says “hi” – and then off he goes for more underwater exploration.
Occasionally, when everyone her age has left for the day, Cera will stoop to playing with her brother, and Anthony will concede to playing with his sister. But the next day, they’re right back to their respective roles: Cera as the big fish in the little pond (or should I say “pool”?), and Ant as the little fish in the big pond. And that makes them both as happy as can be.