We were running behind like always. One birthday party down and a second to go. We were double booked I admit it. I rushed the kids home. They got their bathing suits on. They got their goggles. They got their stuff for the pool. It was a pool party after all to celebrate a 9 year old’s birthday. I pictured a little backyard pool. Even so, the plan was for me to go with them because I don’t trust the “drop off” parties or pools I haven’t seen before. I just don’t.
We got there and it wasn’t a backyard pool. It wasn’t a backyard at all. It was an Olympic sized pool at a community park. It was the type with platforms on the end and lanes to race in. It wasn’t a backyard pool and it certainly wasn’t an inflatable one in three inches of water. I was glad I was there. My 8 year old swims great and can race across the pool in very deep water. My 5 year old is still learning. She is great in the shallow end but loves to goof off and can’t be trusted in there by herself just yet.
I was so glad I had thought of everything. This dad was cooking on all cylinders! Standing there with two girls in there bathing suits I wondered what I had missed. Something was nagging at me. I bent down to take off my shoes and slid them off underneath my jeans. What had I missed. God I love these jeans. So comfortable. What had I missed. I put my hand in my jeans pocket while I pondered. Hmmm. Holy crap. I forgot a swimsuit for myself. I am at the pool with two kids for a pool party wearing a pair of jeans. Holy crap. Damn. Damn. Damn. Damn. I was so busy getting them ready and getting them out the door I forgot about me. Crap!
My 8 year old swam off like a fish. My 5 year old had the puppy dog eyes because she was sad and ready to jump in too. I thought for a moment. I looked at the other party parents. I thought for a moment. I looked at my 5 year old. I sucked up any little sliver of self- respect I had. And I went for it. I went right into the pool with jeans and belt and all. There I was. Me and my jeans and my 5 year old swimming around happy as a clam. Some of the partygoers winced. The pool staff laughed and shrugged. I’m sure the Abercrombie CEO was glad they weren’t HIS company’s jeans. But there we were. For the next two hours I chased the 5 year old around the pool during the party in jeans.
When we got out of the pool people looked again. Jeans stick to the skin I learned. Jeans weigh you down like a denim albatross. I did the walk of shame while I got towels for the girls. I didn’t think to bring a towel for myself either. We stood there and sang happy birthday to the birthday girl while a large puddle of water formed at my jean cuffs as water drained out of them. Slowly I could feel a weight lifting from me as the jeans wrung themselves out. We said our goodbyes. The birthday girl’s mom thanked us for coming and then proceeded to tell me that I was the highlight of the party. Her husband is a comedian by trade and I told her I was worried I’d be hearing about myself in a future routine. I grabbed the girls and we sloshed right on out of there leaving a set of wet tracks behind us.
Leather seats in cars love wet jeans. I put down towels and old clothes on the seat and sat right inside. It was all in a day’s work for this dad. It made me realize we do so much for our kids. Sometimes we need to make sure we’re not forgetting something. Until then, just call me Denim Dad or the Dungaree Dad, or the dad who showed up at the pool party and found a unique way to overcome the 501 blues.