Papa arrived this morning at 8:30 a.m. to take Ittybit to her first swimming lesson at the Y. And promptly at 8:31 a.m. they were out the door. She didn't even look back.
She didn't even utter the words she's been repeating since we told her she'd be learning to swim with her Papa: "OK. ... But I'm not going to put my head underwater, right?"
We didn't need to tell her that she wouldn't have to do anything she didn't want to do.
She grabbed her Dora the Explorer bag containing her new swimsuit and a blue towel (to match the color of the water) and she was gone.
Oh sure, Papa said I could go if I wanted, but I could tell by the sound of his voice that this was something he was hoping would be just for him and Annabel. Their special thing.
So I stayed back to drum my fingers on the table, drink coffee without the interruption of her sing-song voice asking me to play with her and her tiny animals on the livingroom floor, not to mention the possibility of a walk to the farmer's market without having to stop to check the cracks in the sidewalk for treasures.
I miss her already.
I haven't missed her FIRST swimming lesson after all. When she and Papa came home I yelled down the stairs, "Hey, how'd it go." And was answered by Papa saying "Not too well."
Turns out the pool lost a motor or something and has been out of commission since Thursday. Papa was disappointed. Annabel was disappointed. A bunch of kids and their parents were disappointed. And an elderly woman who was headed in as Annabel and Papa were headed out was probably disappointed, too.
ANNABEL: Are you going to swim?
LADY: Why yes I am. I go swimming here three times a week.
ANNABEL: Well not today. The pool is broken.
For a second I had a flashback to my ninth birthday (at least I think I was 9) and my father was taking me and two of my friends bowling. I was SOOOOOOOOOOO excited. It was going to be the absolute COOOOLEST, most SPECTACULAR birthday anyone under 10 EVER had.
But we got to the alley and it was closed. Who ever heard of a bowling alley closed on a Saturday?
Thinking fast my father hustled us back into the car and drove as swiftly as a man who NEVER drives faster 40 mph across the river to the Port of Albany. The. Stinky. Old. Port. Of. Albany. Where for a half an hour we watched a garbage barge load up. I'm fairly certain I cried for a week.
And yet, it's the ONLY birthday I remember. It's the only one worth talking about.
I didn't say anything, but I wondered what he did instead since the pair of miscreants didn't make it home until two hours after finding the drain pulled on their pool time. Did he take her to the Port?
"We went to Old MacDonalds and I played on the toys with the kids. It was GREAT."