I climbed steps and joined the ranks of parents pretending to be comfortable as they perched gingerly on the hard bleachers and breathed in the humid, chlorine-infused air.

We sat with bags at our feet, filled with towels and kid-sized flip-flops.

We were at swimming lessons, and we flanked the pool like an army of adoring supporters, eager to see our precious children perform and progress.


The kids, of course, were well aware of their prime position on center stage. At first they dutifully followed their assigned instructors to their respective lanes and slowly lowered themselves into the pool, some more gracefully than others.

My attention was divided as two of my kids remained on one end of the pool, while the third was led to the far side. My focus shifted from left to right as I tried to pay equal amounts of attentiveness to each child.

Initial instructions were doled out, and the little swimmers-to-be did their best to copy the demonstrated actions of their teachers.

Then, inevitably, there was a shift in the water’s current. Without fail, one by one, the gaze of the children started to waft toward the bleachers.

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Photo Credit: Brian Cantoni