A family came down to the condominium tonight. We got to indulge in the simple pleasures. Have you forgotten what those are?
Here's a quick list:
Excessive heat and humidity that is only tolerable because you are at a swimming pool with friends.
Boys screaming, jumping, competing, yelling, diving, ball throwing.
Pool games, like water basketball.
Pool snacks, like nachos, guacamole, chips and salsa, a cooler full of root beer and other drinks.
Water noodles and a giant blow-up Shamu, the killer whale.
Driving to get great pizza to eat poolside.
Boys fighting over the last ginger ale.
'Smores, 's'mores, s'mores.
That gives you an idea of the evening. Classic summer. Total family. The ultimate if-you-weren't-there-you-wish-you-were experience.
How often do we get to get to relive that kind of "simple pleasures" experience? Well, if you have children, you get it with your own children a few times. Then, if you're lucky, you get to do it with a friend's children or two. Then, maybe you get to do it as a grandparent.
When you add days like this up, there really aren't very many. There can't be, not with a limited number of circumstances during a limited number of summers. And so, when they happen, you celebrate.
How many nights with the sky so perfect when there was a 40% chance of rain? How many summer evenings when the pool is pretty empty and a group of boys can have the run of the place? How many towns wher the pizza just up the road is top-notch NY style? How often do four boys, ages 5 to 13, end up on the same page (not start that way), where they all have great time in the water?
Or, look at it differently, how often do we, as adults, get to re-engage in the youthful activities that were so meaningful to us back then?
Some of the pleasures of a vacation for me are riding a bicycle, getting into a pool, throwing a ball, pumping up tires or a ball, playing games or puzzles, eating ice cream, roasting marshmallows, walking into the ocean, watching a sunset.
But those things are mostly only any fun if there are children with us. Children allow us to re-enter, however briefly, the worlds of all of those things that we once enjoyed, way back when.
Here's to those moments when we are able to reclaim decades and decades of experiences that aren't normally accessible to us. Children, being the children that they are, have no idea that the child-centric experiences that we plan for them serve us at least as much as they are served.