Let the kids swim

Hello and happy Sunday Funday. [Blogged while wearing no pants.]

Today’s post is a reflection of life’s small moments, which takes us back to when I was a child. An angel of a child, no less. I never lied, never broke curfew, never snuck out, never drank, never smoked, got good grades — no trouble for little Foj. And because of this, I don’t have any stories. I don’t have any rebellious, kids-will-be-kids, lesson-learned fables because I was literally just so perfect. So from time to time, I like to give my dad shit for having been a trouble-maker in his youth, while expecting me to be a saint. A cruel irony.

There’s one story in particular I like to toss in his face. We were at a basketball tournament in Rochester. All the girls were there with their families. One night, for whatever reason, some of the girls ended up being thrown into the pool with their clothes on. Eventually my friend’s dad joined in, tossing in fully-clothed athlete one by one. The shrieks, the cries — the horror. Just kidding, everyone was laughing and having a good time.

He finally made his way over to me, clawing at my jeans from inside the pool. I knew my dad would be pissed if I got in that water. (Because the world would have absolutely ended had I gotten my clothes wet.) I could hear the “don’t-you-do-its” from over my shoulder, but UGH — I just wanted to have some fun! Everyone else was doing it, DAD. So I reluctantly looked over at him, and back at my friend’s dad, and back at my own dad. The fear of disappointing him in that moment (and always) took over and I begged my friend’s dad to let me stay on dry land. So while everyone else laughed and flopped around in sopping wet clothes making memz, I remained good little Foj. It was a bummer. Severe FOMO for a 13-year-old. I brought it up to my dad again yesterday. He told me I needed therapy.

Then about a week ago, Charlie and I brought our angel tofu face to the dog park, where he loves to jump in actual piles of mud, and then swim in what I can only imagine to be a large pit of piss and dog saliva. OK, it’s a pond.

Our excited little fox red baby ran to the gate and looked over at us with anticipation. “Not today,” Charlie said. I looked at him with my own puppy eyes and said pretty please. Look how happy it makes him! “No,” he said. “You’ll just yell at me when he humps other dogs, and he’ll get all wet. We don’t have a towel.” After a quick back-and-forth, I gave up and we called our orange velvet nugget back to us. “Next time,” said Charlie.

In the hustle of life, even the smallest “inconveniences” can seem like valid excuses to not do something, or not take advantage of the present moment. My car will get dirty from my wet dog, my kid’s clothes will be soaking wet. But when you’re living a life that’s unpredictable and fragile, it’s in those small moments of joy that create greater happiness. Because you never know when it could be your last day to swim.

Cannonball, bitch.

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