I’m sitting with my daughter in the sauna of a community pool at 6:00 in the morning after swimming laps. She wants to get her lifeguard certification and has to be able to swim 16 laps or so in order to qualify, so we’ve been waking up at 5:00 in the morning all this week so she can do that. I don’t mind getting up that early because if I slide into the pool slowly and float on my back, I can get another half hour of solid shuteye in until the instant I roll over, still sound asleep, and inhale two pints of chlorinated water through my nose. After that, my day’s pretty much started.
Anyway, we’re sitting in the sauna and she’s talking about her appearance and ideal weight and looking toned and all the things teenagers obsess about instead of just doing their homework and she says, “I started looking at exercise programs that women who just had babies do to get off the excess weight because I figure it they can do it, I can do it. Only thing is they burn up to 800 calories a day breastfeeding, so they kind of have an advantage.”
Advantage? Nothing like getting back to the old exercise routine right after giving birth to a completely helpless baby who has the same sleeping patterns as Keith Richards and a bat combined. Piece of cake.
I think I responded with something non committal or judgmental like, “Hmmm,” because I had an immediate flashback of my father responding to something loopy I said to him when I was 18 or 19 about how I would raise my kids differently than the way he and my mother raised my brothers and me or something along those lines and he just smiled and said, “I can not wait until you are married and have kids. I’m going to call you up on the phone and just laugh and hang up.”
I didn’t repeat those words to my daughter because my father, who I see and speak to over the phone all the time, never actually made good on his promise. What he does is more of a snicker than a flat out laugh.
© 2013 The Monkey Bellhop and John Hartnett