Head to Head (#359)

Despite being found with a very upset stomach on his bed by Jim at 4am, running and stomping around the house from then until 7am, and conking out on the couch until 1pm, Charlie said “yes, swim-ming” and off he and I went for the inaugural swim of 2006. Charlie went back and forth slowly (though it was over 90 degrees, the water was cold) before putting his face in and lining up to climb the ladder to the diving board.
The first jump, he walked up and straight off. As he was getting in line again, the whistle blew for Adult Swim.

“Slwide,” said Charlie and off we went to the playground to wait his turn on the swings amid the other kids who were around his height but so different from Charlie. Something about their body language, already mimicking that of slouching teenagers? The way their facial muscles were pulled almost taut with a kind of awareness and understanding of the pace of life around them?

Charlie was peaceful, eyes big as saucers as he negotiated the stairs and slide with so many kids his age rushing around .

The whistle blew again—Adult Swim was over—and we walked back to swim for a few minutes, and then for one more jump. Charlie needed regular taps from me to stay in his place in line. He walked to the end of the diving board and paused; he walked a bit back and paused; he walked forward and paused.

Wordless, I pointed at the pool, in full remembrance of previous summers coaxing, begging, asking and asking and asking Charlie to jump when all he felt like doing was surveying the blue rectangles of water, swaying on the verge.

Today, a minute and—-jump!

“Head to head!” said Charlie as we were driving back home.

I don’t know where he picked that phrase up—-I’ve never heard it before.

Then again, one year ago (exactly one year—June 18th) when I started blogging I thought that all the discussion we were going to have about Charlie’s head were going to involve him banging it; about helmets. And while the former still happens (and is more under control) and the latter could still happen, here we are a year later and Charlie is using words to tell me something about his head, or what he is thinking.

Here we still are, together, new schools and new houses and other big changes and all. Happily ever after?

Happily enough. Happily, differently.

And pardon the pun, but I think that, in the greater scheme of things, Charlie is coming out ahead.

3 Responses to “Head to Head (#359)”
  1. Sharon Faulk says:

    Sounds like a great day!

    I understand that apprehension wondering if they will love the water again after such a long absence. They seem to change all the time keeping us on our toes.

  2. tony says:

    I agree with missing water
    liked readig your stuff will like to come back if you dont mind all the best

  3. I have often wondered how it would be for Charlie to live right near the ocean—-of course, we would have to watch him more than a lot—–

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