The Mom

My dad took the morning off today to take the kids swimming at a great pool and recreation center in nearby Mountlake Terrace. It is the same pool where my sister and I took swimming lessons growing up, and the place is filled with great memories for me. Our kids love the water, and Doug and my dad were great playmates while I sat on the side with the camera and Elijah. It’s always fun to see the places of significance from my own childhood through adult eyes: the thing that struck me today was looking at all the moms with locker keys pinned to the straps of their swimsuits. I so clearly remember that as one of the definitive features of mom-hood at the pool, and today I realized that I am now one of them. I don’t know if this is true for all parents, but I feel like I am still coming into the understanding that I am “the mom” now. And moments like this morning, looking around and seeing the club I now belong to, can still startle me!

As I sat on my little poolside bench, I noticed a few regional differences of note:

-Mom’s of all ages, shapes and sizes with big tatoos. I think there were maybe two moms I saw without them.

-A high percentage of dads there, on a weekday morning, with their kids.

-Lots and lots of white people. The exceptions were one Asian mom and one African American dad there with their kids.

-Normal-looking people. There was one dolled-up mom who came through at one point, but there was otherwise a very laid-back, relaxed character to those of us gathered. In L.A. I am always aware of the costumes of expensive shoes, enormous handbags, and fancy hair (not to mention the refinements of knife and needle). Not a hint of that here.


  1. You saw real, normal-looking people?! People out in public without wearing makeup or high heels? What kind of crazy town is that?

    It sounds like things are going well. So glad you could get away with your family for a while. Say hi to the kiddos for me!

  2. It’s been fun to read about your adventures here in my town of “normal people”. It’s funny because I still feel like there is so much superficiality here (perhaps because we live on the eastside), but I hadn’t really thought of how it might compare to LA.
    I can definitely relate to the slow self-understanding of yourself as a mother. With two kids now I am facing it in ways I cannot escape. It is strange to be a mom. It seems normal to have my kids as a part of my life and I love being their mom, but the title and role and perceptions of “a mom” are harder to grow accustomed to.
    Enjoy the rest of your stay! Hopefully there’ll be a few more days of sunshine for you.

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *