Southern California suffered a bit of an identity crisis the last few weeks. The month of May decided to forgo its usual blast of heat, and the June gloom lingered longer than usual. Those of us used to triple digit weather marveled at this new, temperate golden state. We may have said once or twice the summers don’t seem as hot as I remember.
Things changed last week. (It’s been hot.) I sit under the blazing mid-morning sun every day for swim lessons out of spite. I just refuse to admit the air crackles around me like a campfire, taking with it my will to live. The rest of the parents line the perimeter of the pool, vying like wild animals for even a sliver of shade. I sit on the bleachers, a Filipino grandmother with an umbrella my usual companion, and pretend to read a book. I move only to wipe the sweat before it hits my eyes; I don’t have energy for much more.
I almost cried tears of gratitude when my mom asked to celebrate her birthday with brunch and a day by the pool. Of course, my parents’ pool is ours whenever we want to use it. It’s just that, as weekends go, there is always something else to do. An errand to run. A project to finish. A fan to direct on your bloated, prostrate body splayed across your sharpie stained sofa. What I’m saying is, we never make the time to drive less than five minutes.
We made the long drive today, cake in hand. My mom loves cheesecake, so that’s what I made. Unlike that other cheesecake, this one came together easily.
My mom doesn’t go for any of those fruit compotes you usually see atop cheesecakes. Well, she loves cheesecake so really she’ll eat anything so long as it’s creamy and has a graham cracker crust. Still, her favorite is a sour cream topping (mine, too!) so I made sure to give her a generous one.
Then, it was time for the pool. Two hours of rolling around like otters in what felt like bath water thanks to those triple digits.
Mikey is just getting the hang of swimming. He needs to work on lifting his head to take a breath, but the swim lessons seem to be helping, thank goodness.
Nico, not so much. He’s timid and clings to his instructor like a little Koala bear. But, today he was in the pool so long that he eventually loosened up and ventured out into the deep end. Not without clutching every possible floaty device first, of course.
Gabby was napping while we were in the pool. My brother decided it was time to make the drive back to LA when she woke up, but we didn’t have the heart to deny her a little fun in the water with her cousins. In she went, diaper and onesie, not a swimsuit in sight. My brother had to turn around and dress her all over again for the car ride home, but that’s they way it goes. Aunt’s prerogative. (And uncle, and cousins, and grandparents, too.)
It was a great day. My core body temperature hasn’t been this close to normal in almost a week. Happy birthday, Mom. I hope you loved it as much as we did.