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Adeline loves to swim. A couple years ago she declared that she was going to join the swim team. She was 7. So we informed her she’d need to qualify. Which meant joining a swim program that offered a team and the lessons she’d need along the way. After the first session (a few months long), she was progressing but her coach felt she needed a little more skill before graduating to the next level. Adeline didn’t agree and decided to quit. We didn’t let her, of course. But that’s a different story.

Here we are a couple of years later and she’s getting quite good. She still has some room to grow so we signed her up for two days per week for this current session. Meredith’s idea. Another good one that Adeline was definitely into. So here I am, poolside, watching our little mermaid do the breast stroke. She says back stroke is her jam though. My words, not hers.

Normally the elevated bleachers are setup at the shallow end of the pool, well out of reach of errant splashes. But not this evening. Tonight I’m on a single bench with two other dads about three feet from lane 4, closer to the deep end. I’ve been splashed three times already that I could feel. One reached my face. The drop of chlorinated water is still drying on the right lens of my eyewear. All the splashes have come from the same little boy, Nicholas. At first, I’ll admit, I was a little put out by Nicholas’ lack of splash control. Until I reminded myself that I’m sitting three feet from a pool overflowing with elementary school-aged children taking swim lessons. Nicholas isn’t to blame.

If I don’t wish to be splashed, I shouldn’t sit down next to a swimming pool.

From another angle, if I’m going to sit next to a swimming pool, I should be prepared for the occasional light shower. Which is closer to the reality of our lives, isn’t it? We choose all sorts of things that are accompanied by all manner of other unintended consequences. We focus on the upside and give little thought to the little droplets of mischief that await us along the way. We can either let these “surprises” ruin our enjoyment of the moment or we can take them as they come and give them no more or less energy than they deserve.

Or we can go sit someplace where we won’t be splashed. But that’s not always an option.


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