Saturday, September 18, 2010
Late summer swim
Darby loves the pool like he loves most other things in his world - wholeheartedly. I lean over him and softly speak the phrase reserved for this particular joyous occasion, "Want to go swimmin' with bowlegged women?" While pop culture is locked on, "We're gonna need a bigger boat," the toast made by Robert Shaw has always stuck with me and now, through repetition, is stuck with Darby as the opening salvo to pool time.
We head out back. Darby hasn't had pool time in a couple of weeks, and it shows. Before I've dipped my own body in further than the third step, Darby tumbles into the water. He never actually means to go in, but his love of snapping at splashes combined with his far-less-than-graceful countenance frequently results in an accidental swim.
Being so close to the steps, he lurches for the coping, pulling himself up and out almost as quickly as he went in. Two good body shakes and he's right back where he started, toes clinging to the edge, tail high in a tense vibration, ears forward, eyes locked on my hands, waiting for the next splash to snap.
Watching this display for maybe the four dozenth time this year (he falls in a lot), I'm reminded of the part of his personality I love the most. He cares not about the slip and fall. Unlike the cats, Darby could care less about appearing a fool. He is enthralled by the moment. If he falls, he falls. He gets back up, shakes himself off, and gets right back in the game. No mere moment of embarrassment is going to keep him from doing what he loves to do. No amount of laughing and pointing will deflate his joy. He is living.
In doing so, he reminds me to do the same.