Wednesday, June 27, 2007

A Virtue for Summer

What's the opposite of "judgmental?" I hate the word "tolerant" and all the PC-ness that it implies....

It's summer, and we've been spending some time each hot afternoon at the community pool. While the Big Kids are good swimmers and are off on their own, Little Brother still needs to be watched. He can't swim yet and won't even put his whole head underwater, so he's very happy to play in the water of the Baby Pool and then, after cooling off, put on his shirt and sandals and head to the playground at the back of the fenced-in kids' area.

So I'm watching Little Brother, but I'm also seeing plenty of other people, and there's that nonstop critic in my head that Will.Not.Shut.Up.

I'm wondering what's up with the mother of a young toddler. Mom is wearing large silver bracelets with her swimsuit, and she's talking on her cell phone while helping her little one in and out of the baby pool.

I'm trying to figure out why a little boy who appears to be about 4 years old has obvious highlights done to his hair. Not the "sun-kissed" highlights some kids (including mine) naturally get, and not that strange bleaching where the tips of the hair are bleached but the parts close to the head are the natural color, but actual highlights. Did this little boy ask for that?

I'm mentally ranting and raving about the fact that the lifeguards ignore all bad behavior from kids who are members of the swim team.

Yes, my afternoons at the pool are full of thoughts like these.

I do get some opportunity for good actions, such as handing my first-aid kit to a mom whose preschooler cut her toe, or commiserating with another mom whose nap-deprived toddler is bent on escaping from the baby-pool area and heading for the danger zone of the Big Pool. A couple of years ago, I was in her sandals.

The problem is, I think those good gestures are more than canceled out by the critical commentary going on in my head the whole afternoon.

I hate to swim, but I think I'm going to have to keep going to the pool until I can do so with more kind thoughts.

No comments: