Ali Edwards Capture life. Create art.

June 23, 2011

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.”


  • 1.
    Laura said…


  • 2.
    Leanne in CA said…

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

    • ….
      Anne-Marie Cox said…

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

  • 3.
    Debbie said…

    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.

  • 4.
    Jen said…

    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.

  • 5.
    Peppermint said…

    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.

  • 6.
    Patti Margarita said…

    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

  • 7.
    Johanna said…

    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.

    • ….
      Ali said…

      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).

    • ….
      Johanna said…

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

    • ….
      Sarah said…

      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

  • 8.
    jen shears said…

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

  • 9.
    Libbi M. said…

    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.

  • 10.
    Rebekah Pontow said…

    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.

  • 11.
    Rebekah said…

    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!

  • 12.

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

  • 13.
    Cameron said…

    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?

    • ….
      Ali said…

      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.

    • ….
      Margie S said…

      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)!

  • 14.
    Teresa said…

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

  • 15.
    Eni said…

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

  • 16.
    Lupe said…

    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?

    • ….
      Ali said…

      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.

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

  • 18.
    Janet K said…

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

  • 19.
    Connie said…

    Awww. This brought tears to my eyes. Sooo sweet. My “baby” is 15 now — I remember those days.

  • 20.
    Ann-Marie said…

    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.

  • 21.
    Alecia said…

    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.

    • ….
      Ali said…

      Miss you – I’m so glad I went :) .

  • 22.
    Jamie said…

    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.

  • 23.
    Sarah said…

    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!


    • ….
      Ali said…

      Gotta love Goethe. So happy to have met you -

  • 24.
    Dori said…

    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.

  • 25.
    Michele H. said…

    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;)

    • ….
      Ali said…

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

    • ….
      Michele H. said…

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

  • 26.
    Allison M. said…

    So awesome… I have been looking into options for getting my little one into lessons this year – our local pool only just opened this week. She is such a water babe that I feel it would be a crime not to have her in lessons.
    Chatter at that age is so cool, isn’t it? One of the many things I am including in PL are snippets of funny things she says.

  • 27.
    sabrina said…

    Wonderful story about everyday life. I love how you captured her talking to you on the way home; I really need to start doing that with my chatty 2 yr old son. Thank you!

  • 28.
    aliza said…

    I love the image of not being able to find your car keys and grabbing you r bike instead. It sounds like a scene from a tv or movie.

  • 29.
    Christy said…

    Oh Ali- where did your baby go?

  • 30.
    Annie said…

    Ali, your post makes me want to have kids!!!

    • ….
      Ali said…

      It’s really, really awesome :) .

  • 31.

    Thanks for sharing this it reminds me of swim lessons for the kiddo’s who all are not spawned fins!!! One new 21 month old getting ready to go for lessons…thanks for refreshing some fond memories and good journaling stories….you are the best!



  • 32.
    Lisa W. said…

    OH how I miss my kiddo’s being little. She is simply adorable…AND I love her little “sass”. Does Simon like to swim to?? And I love your blog…Happy Thursday! :)

    • ….
      Ali said…

      He does – he loves it.

  • 33.
    madeline St onge said…

    Awwe you rock Mama.

  • 34.
    Doris said…

    Love love love it all. You are a rockstar Mama.
    Now what’s the scoop kid bike seat. I have visions of me and the Bean going for rides. ;)

    • ….
      Ali said…

      You need it – it’s awesome. I’ll have to check the brand – I just got whatever it was they had in stock at our local bike shop.

  • 35.
    Sandy said…

    Hope you found your keys!

  • 36.
    Jenni Hufford said…

    i love this story- every bit of it.

  • 37.
    Kathi said…

    Such a special ‘everyday’ day….remembering my first swimming lesson with my daughter…26 years ago…:)

  • 38.
    Amanda said…

    Oh Anna! love the story and the pictures. She’s so tiny and sweet.

  • 39.
    Maria said…

    Her little chatter on the way home totally melts my heart. Awesome post. I wish I had been more like you when my daughter was little. I know there is SO much I missed for being the work-a-holic mother that I have been. Thanks for the inspiration. You are making me feel better about taking a vacation next week! Yes, the work-a-holic in me was already feeling guilty about taking a whole week off from work, LOL. :)

  • 40.
    Jen said…

    How fun! Good job for taking the time to be there. You won’t ever be sorry that you missed some work to be there for another First. :)

  • 41.
    Tracey Caudle said…

    Glad you made it on time to see her get in to the water. What a great story to share with her when she is older, :)

  • 42.
    Allison said…

    sweet story.

  • 43.
    Angela said…

    OMG!! Such a cute story….
    Mackenzie always {and still does} called me “Mama” and I just love it!! I am sure it fills your heart as it does mine!!

  • 44.
    Jennie said…

    adorable! so glad you went.

  • 45.
    Melissa said…

    Just. So. Sweet. Ali, my heart is filled with happiness knowing how much JOY is in your life today and every day!

  • 46.
    Holly Preslar said…

    What a truly happy story of those everyday moments that make up our life…so sweet. Now, question for you…your bike looks similar to one I’m considering…is it an Electra? And what is your local bike shop’s name? I’m heading to Eugene on Saturday and looking for a new bike is on my list of to-do’s…not sure what I’ll do with no Ruthie-B’s (darn!)…any suggestions for cool shops or scrapbook/stamp stores would also be much appreciated! Take care, Ali!

  • 47.
    dawn said…

    This is such a happy post made me tear up a little. She is the sweetest thing and her little chatter makes her even sweeter. So glad you decided to go at the last minute and lucky you had a bike, I’m sure you would have tried to run there if you had to, lol. Great photos proud mama

  • 48.
    Wendi said…

    God is sooooooo good! Lost keys can be such a blessing when things like this happen. Frustrating at the moment, but better things come because of it. So glad that you went with your heart to go watch her lesson. Neither if you will forget this day. Blessings to you and your family.

  • 49.
    AbbyS said…

    Aww, what a great post!! Those moments are the best…So glad you got to the pool on time. :)

  • 50.
    Erin K. said…

    Thanks so much for posting this. It is so awesome to be reminded that no matter what else is going on it is ok if we (mommy’s) want to be crazy and just enjoy a moment of “mundane” in our lives.

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