By Phyllis J. Lubin
“Did you see me swim? Aren’t I ready for the blue test?”
“A little more work and you will be extra-ready!”
I’m back at the waterfront at Avnet Country Day. Every day, I have the thrill of seeing children improve their swimming strokes. Every day, another child discovers the wonders of swimming. Those discoveries come to fruition through the great work of our top-notch instructors, along with the inner motivation that helps children take the plunge and learn new skills.
“Did you see Yoni’s beautiful front crawl?” an instructor exclaims with pride in her voice. She sounds like a proud mother. I must point out that while we do have a few mothers on staff, the majority of the lifeguards are between the ages of 16 and their low 20s and still single. All the instructors turn into pseudo-mothers for the summer. They are all concerned that their children progress at the pool.
As I look out at the waterfront, I can’t help but muse that this is my twentieth summer at Avnet. All my children have summered here at some point in their lives, and they all learned to swim in these pools. Three of my daughters became lifeguards and have worked alongside me (and two of them are with me this summer). This year I am thrilled that my eldest daughter (who shall continue to remain nameless in this column) takes over for me in running the waterfront in the afternoon.
My daughter Rochel has also reached the milestone of her twentieth summer at Avnet. Rochel and I have not missed a summer (other Lubins have come and gone from this summer experience). Rochel began as an eight-month-old with a mother’s helper, then continued on as a camper until she became the art assistant one summer, the baking assistant a few summers, and finally joined me at the pool the past five summers.
What is it about this place that draws people in? There is a core staff that continues to come back every summer, and when we see each other it’s as if the years disappear. We don’t age—just the kids! Avnet Country Day is a wonderful place to work, and I have the honor of working with many wonderful people. A shout-out to my amazing swim staff: Yaffa, Chava, Tamara, Devorah, Rachel, Racheli, Zehava, Shani, Orah, Rochel, and Shoshana.
My daughter Rivka, who has taken a break from the waterfront this summer, has just celebrated another birthday. On her Facebook wall, I wrote something along these lines: I can’t believe I’ve known you more than 22 years. Time seems to pass so quickly. We have to remember to appreciate our wonderful moments as they happen and enjoy them. Here’s to enjoying the rest of this summer!
Phyllis Joy Lubin is an attorney with Maidenbaum & Sternberg, LLP, who resides in Cedarhurst with her husband, Leonard. They have six children—Naftali, Shoshana, Rivka, Rochel, Yosef, and Lea—and a daughter-in-law, Nina. The author welcomes your questions and comments at MothersMusings@gmail.com.