Since Thora was about a year old, we’ve enrolled her in swimming lessons at the MIT pool. Except for the summers when we frequent the local public swimming holes, every Sunday morning has found us walking over to their stellar facilities. Until Thora was 3, I was in the water with her. Last academic year she swept through the beginner levels. This academic year she swept through levels 1,2 & 3. We’ve been so consistently proud of her. Her ability to swim (thanks in huge part to the great instruction at MIT) has been a large part of her identity.
But as we were swimming as a family after her lesson on Sunday, Sean told me that next week is the last class. But then reminded me that we have a conflict and can’t make it. So this past lesson was our last swim lesson at MIT. Ever. Without any fanfare, without any build-up, without any acknowledgement on our part of the all the work she’d done in this pool, in these lanes, we realize it’s something now belonging to our old life, the one we happen to still be living.
Despite a kind of relief (it’s kind of pathetic how hard it is to get us over there on time since Sean and I both run longer runs on the weekends, and it’s tough keeping Auric occupied during Thora’s lesson, and it’s tough getting us all showered and changed at the end), I was momentarily stunned that we’d met our first Last Thing. It found me completely unprepared. I wasn’t expecting it at all. But now I am. A kind of innocence is lost now. I’ll be ready for the next last thing with a kind of faint dread, making it hard to appreciate it without also sensing the loss of that last thing. From here on out, my heart will be simultaneously living and leaving behind. I’m not looking forward to this part of it.