I Think I Just Became My Mom

It’s not a bad thing–my Mom is AWESOME! My Mom also thinks I’m cool, so you know it has to be true.

Well, I love aquatics. I really do. For so many reasons. Besides the simple fact that I get paid to people-watch. Yes folks, there is actually a job where it’s ok to stare at total strangers without making them feel completely uncomfortable–unless the pool has one person, and you proceed to stare directly at them the entire time they are in the water. Chances are they will probably say something like, “you don’t have to watch me the entire time I’m here.” But I do! Because how else can I come up with my own backstory for you. I mean, I need to make sure nothing happens to you that would require my assisting you in some way.

Talk at the pool is slowly turning toward summer. Maybe it’s because we’re all tired of the constant state of gray that Kentucky has been in for the past 40 days. We’re all dreaming of a time when we can be getting sun tans and staring at all of you at an outdoor pool. And while I may not be in charge of anything–not for lack of trying. Thanks to the military and our constant moving around (and two adorable children), my aquatics career has been a series of missed opportunities. I worked my way up the ladder once upon a time, but when Shea joined us in October 2008, I quit the aquatics game. Which forced me to start over. Which is fine! I basically used my nearly 2 decades of experience to weasel my way into “helping,” which is a nice way of saying taking-over-as-much-as-I-can-get-away-with.

I mentioned to some kids yesterday the idea of making waterpark orientation FUN, and then threw the “scavenger hunt” idea out there. Instant groans. As we discussed the general ideas I had floating around in my head, I was met with a good amount of negativity. One guy actually said, “scavenger hunts are SO 10 years ago!” That’s when I said the words, “it’s going to be fun! We’re going to be having fun AND learning at the same time!” and instantly flashed back to family trips as a kid. It was a total Mom statement, and I’m sure every mother has at least thought it. Now can we add matching outfits to the mix?! Of course we can!

I am pushing all the things that I HATED when I was a teen, and yet here I am, trying to think of fun ways to get everyone to know one another. Team-building? I STILL hate it! Put me in a group of people I don’t know, and chances are, I will slink away and die in a corner (or hide under the table until it’s over). At the same time, I think back to 17 year old me. As much as I HATED when we would play some Getting To Know You game at Camp Turk Counselor Orientation (did I always pair up with someone I already knew, and pretend we’d never met? Of COURSE I did), I also realize that AS an introvert, it is in fact sometimes helpful. Sometimes life has to be awkward AND uncomfortable, and who better to force (that is not the right word to use here. This is not a choose or die, in or out moment. This is an opportunity to create friendships that will last a lifetime), OK, to push them out of the comfort zone than someone who is already uncomfortable with everything happening in the first place. As much as I LOVE standing up and talking to groups about my love of aquatics, I’m also standing up there with the most random, squirrelly thoughts running through my head. I’M FREAKING OUT RIGHT NOW!!!

Waterpark orientation 2017 WILL be fun, and they WILL learn something, and I won’t stand for grumbly naysayers. I’m going into Full Mom Mode for this one! Let the adventure begin…in 15 or so weeks (plenty of time to emotionally plan).

For the record, my mom would never EVER (EVER) push this sort of team building on anyone. She would be hiding WITH me under a table, and we would probably be discussing the best exit plan. Which door is closest, and how can we get there without anyone noticing. We would also, most likely be texting this to each other from 6 inches away, in fear that someone might HEAR us. Quick! Let’s get out of here before we’re missed!

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