“Oh no! It’s the Mommy Monster!”
Captain Bravo’s words were equal parts squeal and laughter as he clung to David’s neck. I put my face low in the water and glided up behind them, doing my best sea serpent impersonation, much to his very vocal delight. (The other pool guests? They must have loved us.)
We were playing in the pool on our mini-getaway a couple of weeks ago when it happened:
I saw my future.
(No, The Doctor didn’t take me away in the TARDIS. Although, that might be cool, too. Maybe a bit too much Doctor Who recently?)
Captain Alpha frolicked around and jumped in an out of the pool to go to the water slide. Captain Bravo isn’t all that comfortable in the water yet, so he was passed between David and I.
At some point one day, I saw her.
She was lounging with her feet up on a deck chair. She held a tablet and I imagined she was reading.
I noticed a group of older teens around the pool, and some of them would check in with her every few minutes, but I never got a clear idea of who was with her. She would pause and look up – scanning – every few minutes.
She looked relaxed, content – and I couldn’t help but feel sad for her.
I realize how silly that sounds. She was happily relaxing poolside, her charges blissfully engaged and independently enjoying the pool and the water slide. She was on her tablet; all appeared right in her world. And yet I felt sad.
It is ironic, too, since she could have looked at me with pity.
“Poor girl,” she might have thought. “I remember those days.”
She might have thought how much better life is for her now that no one was clinging to her with all their might, no one splashing her, no one squealing and calling her a Mommy Monster.
Then I realized that I wasn’t sad for her; I was sad for me.
Because one day I will be her.
One day, someday soon – it will feel like tomorrow, I am sure – I will be not be needed in the pool. Even more, I will not be wanted. I will sit in a chair and read and scan the surroundings, passively keeping track of everyone.
Right now, I like being in the pool, holding on for practice kicks. The thought of letting go makes me realize I am not ready.
When the time comes, will I be ready to let go? Maybe it will just be one of those stages that come and I will think “this is a great stage!”
Will it be easy, or will I fight it? Will I be happy? Will I miss being the Mommy Monster?
Or will this future letting go be as poignant as it felt in the cool waters of the pool, when I got a lump in my throat at the thought of the end of the Mommy Monster?
(When I put it that way, this does sort of sound like a Doctor Who episode.)
Are you reading by the pool, relaxing in your chair? How do you like it? And if you’re not, are you looking forward to it?