At the wading pool I watch my two… what words suffice? Rascals who drain me and then fill me up again to spilling love and mush like a pot boiling over? Yes, those two. They’re sitting side by side. At the edge.
It’s a crowded, noisy world in fast, full motion. Too much to take in at once, Rhema’s body goes rigid and she retreats to her “stuck” place, waiting for her insides to calm and her senses to regulate. Hope knows. She just knows. Although she is excited – it’s their first visit to the Mushroom Pool all summer and she’s itching to run and jump and splash and make new friends – she waits with her sister. I watch her, my five-year old lean over and kiss my unresponsive eight-year old on the cheek. I’m right here with you.
Much later, after the girls have found their way into a grand time at the pool, I notice that Rhema has the swimsuit wedgie of all wedgies. I attempt to catch her and adjust her suit but she’s too busy splashing around to stop for me. Hope sees all, and when Rhema gets close she gently and swiftly tugs both sides of the bathing suit down before Rhema darts away. Normally Hope would have to stifle a guffaw over butt cheeks hanging out. But she just shrugs at me from across the pool, amused smile on her face.
Rhema’s run under the mushroom with the water pouring down. Hope’s been afraid to run under that mushroom for two summers straight. Now she pauses on the outside, squeezing her eyes shut as tight as she can. She plunges through the wall of water, her hands reaching out desperately for Rhema’s hands until she finds them. Love washing over fear.
They make each other brave.