Late this afternoon I took Poss and a friend to the pool in a last ditch attempt to regain some sort of calm, after a weekend of anything but.
Stripping down to her bathers, she made straight for the deep end, kicking her feet like a mermaid, ducking and weaving amongst the other swimmers. Her friend trailing along behind, doing handstands, her long legs pointing to the sky.
It’s a wave pool, with a man-made beach of sorts, so every fifteen minutes they’d start, enormous waves signalled by a loud siren, followed by excited squeals as the water started to resemble a washing machine instead of the pool it was only moments before.
The girls bobbed up and down, their heads barely visible at times as the rhythm of the tide caught their bodies, lifting them up, dropping them down, lifting them back up again.
As the waves rolled and crashed against the unnaturally white tiled walls of the pool, the girls floated like pieces of driftwood, surrendering to the water and moving with its will.
Eventually it dragged them closer to the shallow and they laid down, letting it wash over them again and again. The manufactured waves were regular, so unlike real waves; one two, one two, one two. It was easy to identify the pattern and anticipate where they’d be next.
Poss sought out the places where it was meeting the shore the hardest, the water crashing into her little body as she tipped her head back and looked towards the roof. The strong chlorine was hurting her eyes, but she didn’t want to get out, another go mummy, just one more go she pleaded.
Eventually they consented to dragging their wrinkled limbs from the water, tired, calm. Wrapped in fluffy towels, starving hungry, ready for showers and pyjamas.
It didn’t last. There were more tears before bedtime. But for a while, maybe as long as a few hours, it was ok.
It’s weekends like this, when the ups and downs aren’t as predictable as those man-made waves, that we take those moments of calm and try with everything to hold on to them, riding them for as long as we can before we get dumped onto the shore.
Tomorrow a new week starts. And while we’ll be hoping for calm sailing, I know we’re getting pretty good at jumping with the waves.