Many times on a hot Sunday TheWeeOne asked to go to the lake for a swim; but I was committed to other tasks. Finishing our last errand, the evening waned, and I was tired from a long day.
Driving home in the car she asked again,
Can we go to the lake now?
I told you that we wouldn’t probably have time for that today.
She drooped a bit…
Do you have your suit on?
No – but I can swim in this unitard – it’ll work! But I want my mermaid tail!
I did some quick math
Ya know, it’s 9:00! By the time we get home, get your tail, get a towel, and get to the lake it’ll be 9:30 at least. The park closes by then. I feel like sitting and watching a movie or something…
She drooped again, disappointed. I thought for a minute, recognizing my “logic” as excuses – and besides, she’d been watching videos off & on all day while I was busy. How many times did I tell her to go play?
So I said…
Of course…sometimes going swimming late at night is just one of those crazy ideas that you…kinda just…have to do.
<pause> she looked at me solemnly in the rear-view mirror and said bluntly,
This is a crazy idea that I just have to do.
Who am I to stand in the way of crazy?
Arriving home TheMommy recognized the drive of the crazy idea right away and dutifully braided TheWeeMermaid’s hair – she had energy that should be encouraged.
Driving away – I closed the windows to the sweet night air and cranked the stale heat in the car to pre-funk her skin for the cold I predicted.
She grinned with anticipation.
The parking lot was being cleared by staff, 30 minutes after closing but I wouldn’t be dissuaded, on her behalf, by such trifles.
I parked illegally across the street.
Finally – with some shivery hesitation – she jumped.
The water was warm and she implored me to join her. I explained that I wasn’t ready, didn’t have my suit, had my phone in my pocket, was enjoying taking pictures – all excuses and I knew it.
She played, challenged herself to a mermaid dive, a mermaid swim without holding her nose, and 30 minutes later crossed the large area, from the dock to the beach.
As we departed in the full darkness of the summer night, we jaywalked again and casually drove home.
She was still exhilarated, shivering a bit, the heat again blasting.
Was it worth it?
Oooohhh it was SOOOOO worth it – Mommy should have come and YOU should have gone in too!
Yeah – I probably should have.
You are probably gonna regret it later.
You are probably right.