Monday, July 29, 2013
Summer Fun 2013: Twins of Summer
It's been the summer of swimming. From lessons to visits to friends, swimming at camp and swimming at the hotel, swimming in Texas and swimming in Connecticut, the kids have spent more time than ever before in the pool. And they're loving it. They're jumping in, swimming under water, doing different strokes,playing Marco Polo and Toothpaste, and having a generally wonderful time.
And I'm watching. Not just for safety (and for tips on watching for drowning, see here--because it doesn't look like what you expect), but because they're having so much fun. Joy in their joy. And remembering what it's like to do handstands in the water, and twirls, and flips, and silly dives.
Where I grew up, we had a neighborhood pool and I spent chunks of my summer there, as I recall. I swam on the team, the Dolphins (with our red and white one-piece suits and dry Jello to eat for snack! I liked orange the best), more for fun than because of any talent. And when I was old enough, I took and passed the swim test--swim the length of the long pool and tread water for two minutes--so that I could come to the pool on my own without an adult, signified by the embroidered star stuck to my plastic pool membership tag (the star colors changed every year; my first was red.) Which I loved to do with my next-door neighbor and other friends.
There were three pools: the tiny, circular kiddie pool, the medium L-shaped pool in the shade favored by older people, and the huge rectangular main pool with two diving boards and eight lanes across where we had our swim practice and meets. We could swim all day, doing everything above, plus have races and underwater tea parties together. We'd swim til we got pruney and then swim some more, until our toes literally bled from scraping the bottom of the cement pool. Good times, seriously. We only stopped for the hourly 10-minute break, when all kids had to get out of the pool to rest while parents swam alone, though few did. I think it was more of a break for the lifeguard on the high chair, but that's okay. It was hot work. There were bathrooms but no showers or changing spaces; the main nod to hygiene and the like was the hot vinegar poured in our ears with a plastic squeeze bottle as we left to prevent ear infection. Ah, hot vinegar, the scent of summer!
I'm not swimming myself again yet, the water causing too much (TMI warning) pelvic instability the last time I was in it, but I will. I like it. And maybe we'll join a local pool so the kids can keep swimming as much as they want. That's what summer is for and this year sees the start of their loving it. Great memories in the making for all of us.