While playing with K at the pool on Sunday, I burst into a session of “Row Row Row Your Boat.” I’m not sure what brought it on, except that we were in the pool and it reminded me of swim lessons, way back when we sang the song on a weekly basis. A furrow blanketed K’s face with concentration.
“We used to sing this… in my old gym class… with… water?”
It’s been at least a year and a half since we did swim lessons. She doesn’t remember it, not in the traditional sense. But it’s clearly in there. I explained about swim lessons, how we used to sing “Row Row Row Your Boat” as we practiced “rowing” with our arms, the precursor to strokes. The confusion passed with a shrug of acceptance, and K swam away in a free and natural way that came long after swim lessons finished.
I’m coming to the close of those years, the ones the kids won’t remember. They are bittersweet: such a blissfully simple time we spent constantly together, yet totally outside of the kids’ conscious memory. I suppose they’re in there, all those little moments, banked into a hopefully deep-seeded sense of security and happiness. But I treasure them even more, knowing that of the three of us, only I will truly remember how wonderful they really were.