“Aunt Carol? Do you think Lacey could take me to swimming lessons today?”
This is what my five year old cousin, Blake, called to ask yesterday morning.
“Well, Blake… you don’t want your Mom to take you?”
“If my mom takes me, Lacey won’t be able to see how good I can swim!”
The kid’s logic is impeccable.
We had plans to go help Blake’s mom, Jan, with a project happening around their house. Her husband is a member of the Miller Tribe, my mom’s family, which means that they always have projects happening around their house. The Millers are notorious “projecters.”
Jan was to take Blake to swimming lessons while my mom worked, and I was going to hang out with Blake’s little brother and sister. But, plans changed, and I was granted the incredible privilege of escorting Blake to swimming lessons.
I arrived at their house to find Blake in his bright blue swim trunks and matching flip flops, loaded up with his striped towel and little bottle of sunscreen, and hit the road. The conversation was incredibly stimulating, and challenged me to ponder the construction of various bodies of water around the world.
“Lacey, do they have swimming lessons for adults?”
“I think they do, somewhere.”
“Why? Can’t all adults swim?”
“No… Aunt Carol can’t swim.”
“But that doesn’t matter… she can reach!”
“Not in all pools, Blake. Sometimes she can’t reach.”
“That’s silly. Adults should be able to reach.”
Again. Impeccable logic.
I missed a turn on the way to the pool… which concerned Blake. Suddenly, he was very unsure of my navigational skills, and as I turned around to go back to the correct road, he voiced his worries and quizzed me about how familiar I was with the roads, why I missed the turn, and if I knew how to go the rest of the way. From then on, at every stop sign I heard a little voice from the backseat:
“Which way are you going to turn now, Lacey?”
“I figured I’d go this way, Blake” (pointing in the appropriate direction).
“Okay. That’s right. Good job,” he’d tell me, contentedly leaning back into his seat until the next intersection.
We arrived at the pool, on time and unscathed, and I led him through the door.
“WAIT!” he pulled on my shirt. “Mommy always lets me undress here,” he informed me, pointing at a bench. “And then she puts on my sunscreen.”
“My bad!” I told him, and we stopped to make the appropriate changes to his wardrobe… which really included pulling off his shirt (“no, it’s called a tank top!” he told me) and taking off his flip flops.
“Now, you should sit here, because that’s where Mommy sits!”
“Okay. There’s your teacher! Have fun!”
“Oh, Lacey…” he sighed, disappointed at my incompetence. “Mommy always walks me to the pool.”
“Well then, by all means!” I piled his shirt, towel, and flip flops on the bench and escorted him to the edge of the pool, safely handing him off to Miss Sarah.
I sat and watched for an hour as he learned to float on his back, swam back and forth from the wall to his teacher, and splashed his way around the corner his class considered home. After an hour, he splashed his way over to where I sat, instructed me on how his mommy wraps him up in his towel, then informed me it was time to leave!
We made our way to McDonald’s where we waited patiently for his mommy, my mommy, my brothers, and his siblings. We played the video games on the walls- specifically a game where you get to color pictures of farm animals. We had a battle over what color the baby chick’s egg should be. He said green, I said purple.
“Why do you like purple so much?”
“My school is purple!”
“What does that mean?”
“You know how Auburn is orange and blue?”
“Well, my school is purple!”
We did color a pretty awesome robot. He was green and blue and orange and yellow and black and white and grey and red… but no purple in sight. After all, purple is a girl color, and this was a boy robot, you know.
After happy meals and apple pies we had to part ways. Luckily, I managed to find my way home without Blake’s directions. He’s better than a little GPS… always makes sure you’re on the right path, but much kinder. Although, the extensive questioning when you happen to mess up is a little overwhelming.