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The First Of Many

06 | 22 | 2011

Anna had her first swimming lesson yesterday.

The plan was that Katie would take her (Katie's our nanny).

Because, you know, I work.

And then I was sitting here working and I looked at the clock and it said 9:50am. Her lesson started at 10am.

I said to myself, "What am I thinking? I want to be there."

So I ran downstairs and grabbed my wallet and looked for my keys in the little blue pot on the windowsill where the keys are supposed to be. Not there. Of course they're not there when I have only five minutes to make it to Anna's first swimming lesson.

So I went to the garage, pushed the button to open the door, and jumped on my bike.

I peddled, peddled, peddled my way on over there (it's not too far) and arrived just as she was getting in the water.

She was mostly smilely and a little scowly at the cold water and the clouds that were blocking the sun. She kept looking over at Katie and I, smiling her big toothy grin. She was shy with the teacher, a big guy, but was happy to take her turn off the steps to do her kicks as he guided her around the shallow end.

I bet today she'll be blowing bubbles just like those other two little boys in her group.

Towards the end she was looking over at us and saying she was cold. Right about then it was time for a field trip over to the hot tub for an end-of-class warm up.

She was mad when I finally pulled her out of the hot tub to wrap her in a towel. Katie and I looked at each other with a knowing look about this awesome, opinionated, almost two-and-a-half-year-old who is coming into her own.

First Bike Ride

She changed her attitude when we told her about seeing Mama's bike out in the parking lot.

"I want to ride." she said.

So she rode home with me in her new seat on my bike.

"Woo hoo" she yelled and then chattered on as we made our way home. "Mama, I want to tell you about Max and Ruby. Mama, my helmet is too tight. Mama, where is your house? Mama, where is Katie? Mama, I tired. Mama, I love you."

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95 thoughts

  1. Laura says…
    06/23/2011

    Awesome!!

    Reply 0 Replies
  2. Leanne in CA says…
    06/23/2011

    Love it! Go Anna!!! Keep smiling and have a fabulous week.

    Reply 1 Reply
    1. Anne-Marie Cox says…
      06/23/2011

      awwww bless... good choice Mumma. Glad you made it in time. ;)
      :'( thoughts and prayers to that family Debbie... just heart breaking.

  3. Debbie says…
    06/23/2011

    Thank you, Allie, for giving her lessons at this age. Sadly, a 3 year old passed away in Media, Pa over Memorial Day Weekend at a Swim Club. It apparently only takes 18 seconds for a 3 year old to drown.

    Reply 0 Replies
  4. Jen says…
    06/23/2011

    Ali I had to laugh because I work from home and have had to rely on a sitter or daycare to take my kids to an event and found myself too running out the door because on paper my approach seemed sound but when the moment came I realized, I WANT TO BE THERE, and I know that is more important that the spreadsheet I can work on later. It is tough to be a working mama sometimes but you are a great example of finding that balance.

    Reply 0 Replies
  5. Peppermint says…
    06/23/2011

    Awwww, I love her chatter at the end. It's the absolute sweetest. She's such a trooper, it took Nicholas years (as in, practically happened last month) to enjoy the water. He certainly wouldn't have let some big guy walk him back and forth across a pool - this much I know.

    Reply 0 Replies
  6. Patti Margarita says…
    06/23/2011

    This post warms my heart. I have a 1 year old who I can't wait to hear her talk to me like that :) <3

    Reply 0 Replies
  7. Johanna says…
    06/23/2011

    Her words make me melt. My husband and I work from home together (we run a small design studio) and will soon welcome a baby boy into this world and your words make me think that everything will work out. I have no idea how taking care of business and taking care of our wee babe will roll together, but we will work it out. Somehow.

    Reply 3 Replies
    1. Sarah says…
      06/23/2011

      I completely agree. As another working mom (lawyer), its really tough, but you make it work because you want to, need to, must. My little girl (same age as darling Anna) is my number one priority and some days its tough to remember/keep that in mind!! Stories like this remind me of just how awesome they are, and how fast they grow and how each and every moment is precious!! Even when you "should" be working or are just exhausted!!

      Thanks Ali, for the gentle reminder. And, Johanna - you'll be awesome!! x

    2. Johanna says…
      06/23/2011

      Thank you so much for your encouraging words. I'll keep them close to my heart and will try to remember!

    3. Ali says…
      06/23/2011

      It will work out. It will be hard - there will be moments of time where you feel totally clueless but you will find your way and find what makes the most sense for your own family (that's the biggest thing - find what works best for you and go with it...and know that it will change from time to time).

  8. jen shears says…
    06/23/2011

    that's AWESOME. glad you saw it- and love her chatter.... :D

    Reply 0 Replies
  9. Libbi M. says…
    06/23/2011

    i absolutely love this post. i have a 6 y.o. who starts private swim lessons next month and i'm so super excited. not sure who's more excited... her or me. it's an outdoor pool as well. will definitely tote my camera for this memory making experience.

    Reply 0 Replies
  10. Rebekah Pontow says…
    06/23/2011

    So stink'n cute! I love watching your little girl grow up just as mine is...it's great to see how so many kids have the same things to say.

    Reply 0 Replies
  11. Rebekah says…
    06/23/2011

    Awww, that is so super sweet Ali. I love those moments when we drop everything and give heed to something like this. For me, it seems to make me all the more observant of my surroundings when I know how I almost missed it. Thanks for sharing with us, as usual, your posts are so inspiring and fun!

    Reply 0 Replies
  12. Heather of the EO says…
    06/23/2011

    This post gave me a big happy sigh. Sometimes we just HAVE to be there. And it's so good.

    Reply 0 Replies
  13. Cameron says…
    06/23/2011

    I love this so much! We're about to have our first baby in October and my husband's already talking about family bike rides (starting out with a trailer of course). Is it harder to ride with her on the back?

    Reply 2 Replies
    1. Margie S says…
      06/24/2011

      I ride with a six year old boy on the back of my bike. I just have to remind him not too wiggle too much or we'll crash (so far, so good though)!

    2. Ali says…
      06/23/2011

      Not harder at all - more just getting used to having her there when you stop (keeping it all balanced). It's really fun - she loved it.

  14. Teresa says…
    06/23/2011

    Awesome story Ali! This is the type of thing you should advantage of when you work from home.

    Reply 0 Replies
  15. Eni says…
    06/23/2011

    Oh, what a funny little story - this must have been so much fun for here - Love your little conversation!

    Reply 0 Replies
  16. Lupe says…
    06/23/2011

    Ok, now you're wearing a down vest?! In your retreat pictures you were wearing a full-on winter jacket (lovely color on you, btw). I'm moving to Portland, Oregon from Southern California any minute now and I'm starting to worry. I know all about the rain, but cold? In the middle of June?

    Reply 1 Reply
    1. Ali says…
      06/23/2011

      It's definitely a change from So Cal :). June is usually a mix of clouds and sun with temps in the 60's to 70's. This photo was in the morning so it's usually a little cooler and there was a bit of wind. At the coast it's usually brisk too :). But man it's beautiful.

  17. Francine Clouden says…
    06/23/2011

    She is just too awesome. As are you Mama :)

    Reply 0 Replies
  18. Janet K says…
    06/23/2011

    Thankyou...this post was so heartwarming..brought tears to my eyes!

    Reply 0 Replies
  19. Connie says…
    06/23/2011

    Awww. This brought tears to my eyes. Sooo sweet. My "baby" is 15 now -- I remember those days.

    Reply 0 Replies
  20. Ann-Marie says…
    06/23/2011

    Ali - This story was just too cute. I love how you thought to hop on your bike and by doing so, it became a treat for Anna. Precious.

    Reply 0 Replies
  21. Alecia says…
    06/23/2011

    Ali! I love you! I had been contemplating just letting Delaynee's day care provider take her to her first swim lesson in a few weeks. You convinced me--I just sent in my time off request for that morning. Can't miss these firsts--we don't get them back! Thanks for reminding me of that this morning before I missed it.

    Reply 1 Reply
    1. Ali says…
      06/23/2011

      Miss you - I'm so glad I went :).

  22. Jamie says…
    06/23/2011

    My daughter, who just a few days older than Anna, is starting swimming lessons this summer too. Is Anna a big Max & Ruby fan? Keira is as well. She does a lot of relating between real life and what she sees on M&R. I'm hoping Keira likes her lessons too, she loves the water.

    Reply 0 Replies
  23. Sarah says…
    06/23/2011

    Ali, this reminds me of a quote by goethe that a new friend and very wise woman posted on her blog recently: "Things that matter most must never be at the mercy of things that matter least." Your work is important, but Chris, Simon, and Anna feed your soul. Keep pedaling! Oh, and nice jacket!

    Sarah

    Reply 1 Reply
    1. Ali says…
      06/23/2011

      Gotta love Goethe. So happy to have met you -

  24. Dori says…
    06/23/2011

    Precious! This reminded me of my own very old Schwinn bike and all the miles I logged with my son in the baby seat on the back, starting when he was only 6 months old. He loved it so very much! (He's now 32 years old, 6'2", and a Special Forces Captain in the U.S. Army as well as a triathlete.) Thanks for the push down memory lane.

    Reply 0 Replies
  25. Michele H. says…
    06/23/2011

    this post makes me happy! i just love all of her questions:)

    btw...did you find you find your keys? i'm notorious for misplacing mine;)

    Reply 2 Replies
    1. Michele H. says…
      06/23/2011

      ha! i've left mine in the freezer before!

    2. Ali says…
      06/23/2011

      Yep - they were on top of the car from when we came home the evening before. Hanging out there with the mail.

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