At the end of last month, the babe, her father, and I headed off for our annual excursion to the Allegheny mountains with dear family friends. The unparalleled highlight of the week for my daughter was her time at the pool. We visited EVERY day - splashing, enjoying the water slide, and joining her friends in their best Katie Ledecky imitations.
Upon our return to DC, the daily swimming routine was extended thanks to a visit from my mother, who stayed in a nearby hotel with a lovely rooftop pool. Her departure a few days later marked the end of our ready access to water, and I found myself inordinately disappointed at the loss of this sweet rhythm with my daughter. Refusing to accept the end of summer, I packed the babe up and headed to a pool in the area that offers single-day passes. As I approached the door, I saw a notice advertising pool memberships were still available. It's almost September, I thought. Why on earth would anyone join an outdoor pool at the END of the season?
Despite my skepticism, I found myself asking the desk attendant about the sign and what options might still exist. Much to my surprise (and the babe's delight), we learned the pool remains open through the end of October - giving us two full months of extended swim season - and the promise of respite from the all-too-common Indian summers in DC. Without stopping to consider whether we would really be able to take full advantage, I heard myself say, "Why not?!"
We swam to our hearts' content that day - and the next - and the next. Already we have run into multiple friends who are also members and forged connections with new acquaintances. And more importantly, we have extended the ease and delight of summer and created more special memories.
When presented with major life decisions, it is wise to consider all options, weigh important factors, and choose carefully. In matters of simple joys, however, we can all benefit from letting down our guard and asking, "Why not?" As we head into the Fall season with all the structure and busyness it brings, can you find opportunities for spontaneity? Can you squeeze a little more summer into your year?