The Aquatics Career that Wasn’t

For the past few weeks, I have taken on the role of “Acting Aquatics Coordinator,” while the current Assistant Manager is recuperating from back surgery. It has been hectic. I had to organize and run an Easter event, which consisted of LOTS of running around, LOTS of being organized (or pretending to be at least), and LOTS of talking. Talking to parents. Talking over a sound system. Talking to angry parents. Talking to kids. So much talking happened. I put my performance major to work–only, with less singing. I spent the week telling Justin, “if I can just get through Saturday, everything will calm down and I can take a breath.”

Just kidding.

For those of you who live ABOVE the Mason/Dixon line, you probably don’t realize that summer is about to start here in the south. Which means prepping a water park to open. And doing everything required to make sure a water park  can open. I have dealt with marketing, done a lot of ordering, and sent in so many work orders. In fact, the Aquatics Director informed me yesterday, “you know, Sam, not all work orders have to be written work orders. Most you can just email.” To the magic work order fairy, obviously (as he failed to mention where one sends these work orders). Meanwhile, some high-up here at Fort Knox is sitting in his office asking, “why does Samantha Steeves need my approval to have sink sensors replaced!?” The work force on post is getting these approved work orders and thinking, “dang, we better act fast!” Maybe I’m on to something here.

In the last pay period, I worked 64 hours. I know, I know, that’s over 2 weeks. But normally, it’s a big deal if I go over 30. Which is plenty, because I still have to rush home and be a full time stay at home mom!

This afternoon when I checked my email and saw that the second Assistant Aquatics Manager position is open, and will be filled, I was excited and bummed all at once. The timing sucks.

I am the “always the bridesmaid; never the bride” of aquatics. In 2006, I was the ACTING Aquatics Director for 5 months before the position opened–2 months before we were getting ready to leave for Germany. In 2008, I was the ACTING Aquatics Director for 4 months when the position in Germany opened–a month before my due date. This time around, it’s Assistant Aquatics Director, which I was for nearly 2 years in Germany. Unfortunately, we’re less than 4 weeks away from summer vacation.

I will now sit back and watch kids a decade my junior, duke it out over a position I am beyond qualified for. Childless, 25-year-old Sam is inside screaming, “what are you doing!?!? Apply for the damn job!” And the practically-35-year-old Sam is telling that voice to quit it. This is about to be summer vacation! That time where my kids and I get to kick back, play outside, swim all day and eat ice cream, visit family, and just enjoy the weather. I so badly want to once again advance my aquatics career, but I still want to be a stay at home mom!

If this past 3 weeks has taught me anything, it’s that I am not one of those amazing women that can handle a full time job and be a functioning mother and wife. My house is a crazy mess. I’m pretty sure Xander’s school re-registration form is somewhere, waiting to be put back in his backpack (only in the military do you have to register your kids for school every year. Ah, military life).

Aquatics will always be the career I go back to, and these last 2 years have done a lot to remind me of that. I ran a pool. Heck, I ran 4 pools! When the assistant comes back, or the second assistant is hired, I will step back down to “just a lifeguard” once more. I will mentor and help them in any way I can.

Someday, in 6 or more years, I will be able to pursue my career, while Justin takes on the role of Stay at Home Dad. I can’t wait to come home at the end of the day and ask, “what did you do all day!?”

Just kidding–our house will probably be spotless.