conrad and i were planning on going to the spray park out in jacksonville when in walked his father, hours before we expected to see him. i already had the pool tote/largest- most awesomest bag you have ever seen, because for some reason, going to the pool now involves more than a walkman, banana boat sun grease, and a beach towel, now it involves: two towels, spf 1000 sunblock, bag of snacks my mother would be proud of me for packing (hummus, cherries, cucumbers, whole wheat crackers), swim diapers, extra change of clothes for the kiddo, two hats, sunglasses, sippy cup, arsenal of toys, swim ring, and extra patience for when i go to put him in his swim diaper and he fights me at every cost to be freed from my "better interest" shenanigans.
i had gotten everything together during conrad's nap and was mentally set on getting out of the house to enjoy the nice summer day; and better yet, with jon being home, the three of us could go together, and instead of the spray park, i decided we should go to the public pool down the street. now, a few days prior conrad and i went. it was opening day and everybody and their mothers uncle, aunt, cousins, grampops were there; and not only that, but the medford swimming pool i found out was Ghetto, more ghetto than north grand prairie. we walk in and pay and are ushered through a womens locker room no decent women would ever claim belongs to our gender. the walls were tattered, the floors unmatted, the bathroom a toilet behind a curtain, and a rusty old bench against the wall. out at the pool, there was no benches or pool furniture, just the concrete and a tad of shade from the barbed wire fence surrounding it. i had no choice but to drop our bag and lay out our towel right there on the hot concrete and change conrad into his swim diaper and shorts. like the optimist i am, i made the best of the situation-i smiled as i stepped down into the urine drenched pool and conrad knew none the better: he splashed and kicked with his usual gaity. but now that jon was home, i thought we would try it again. perhaps it wouldn't be so crowded and perhaps, being opening day at our last visit, they weren't ready-things might be nicer. all such notions went flying out the window and back into the crapper once we got there. it was actually more crowded than opening day. none the less, jon and conrad and i jumped in and found a pocket of open water not occupied. then i went of the diving board and after my third dive i nailed a beautiful pikes peak. there is nothing like hitting the water like a knife and shooting down twelve feet effortlessly.
it only took a hour for conrad to lose interest, so we packed up and loaded him back into his car seat with his sippy cup in hand. looking at him back there i began to see the little boy and less of the baby. he is changing so much, and not only developmentally but a shift in the makeup of his stature.
today we went out to the ashland pool and man was it night and day. the drive is twenty minutes but it's wonderful out there: a grassy knoll around the pool with huge oak trees and lounge chairs and a baby pool and a fourth of the crowd. we were there for over a hour and by the time we made it home conrad was asleep. i opened the back door and just stood there staring at him...he was still my baby.