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Night Swimming

Poolside, night swimming. Austin, TX, May 22, 2009.

We convened on Austin for a second go-round, once again taking over the generic corporate suite hotel conveniently located to where we needed to be. The occasion was a right of a passage, full of song and prayer, but for the kids it’s a few days of swimming, catching up, hanging out, and spending as much time together as is humanly possible.

I think of my father who was here last time, holding court by the pool with friends and family. My brother Phil who missed out on both¬†occasions. Ruth and Bob who should be here and would have enjoyed it so. My Grandpa Jesse who would doze off by the pool at Uncle Barry’s on a hot summer day. Grandma Bertha who would sit at Barry’s, watching the swimming, close enough to get wet, dressed to the nines, shaded by a multi-colored beach umbrella.

When the kids were first born others would tell us about the phases they would go through – crawling, walking, understanding but not speaking, one word thoughts, and then sentences. What they didn’t tell us was how quickly these phases would happen. Some only lasted a few days or a week. When you are young and you see the older generations at gatherings there is a sense that change at that end of the scale happens slowly, that time is stretched. But what they don’t tell you is how quickly it, too, occurs.

My father would hold court but I’m not a court holder. I watch and observe. The kids want to swim the moment they arrive. We indulge them and I am happy to do it. There’s a lot to think about while you sit poolside on a late spring night.


  1. Josh

    Beautifully put. I can picture the fun I missed out on by not making it down there and the pool scenes at Barry’s and Rusty’s…

  2. Jon Roemer

    You had a good excuse, you can cry “Uncle.”

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