In this one,
you are grinning at me from the middle of the swimming pool,
having completely forgotten last fall’s reluctance to even approach the water.
Now, you zip back and forth from the rope to the wall,
nothing but a couple of foam noodles holding you up,
your hands cupped carefully to catch the water,
feet flailing a bit behind you,
not quite yet organizing themselves into productive kicks,
but getting there, getting there.
Every so often, I see a glimpse of the forced smile
I’m afraid you inherited from your mother and your grandmother,
the one that says, “Maybe if I look like I’m having fun, I actually will,”
but most of the time, your grin is real,
pure delight in the feel of your body in water.
And I grin back at you, joy-filled too.