It is a beautiful thing to rediscover something that you once loved but had since almost forgotten. When I was a kid, we had a swimming pool in the back yard. Nothing fancy, just one of those vinyl above-ground affairs. For this kid, it was heaven on earth. I love being in the water. That pool is where my Daddy taught me how to swim. I was really little and never got very good, but it was so much fun. Mama didn’t swim and we were too small to be in the pool by ourselves. So we waited eagerly for Daddy to get home from work every day all summer long.
One of my earliest memories is of him standing in the middle of the pool trying to talk me into jumping in so he could catch me. And I remember these awesome orange floats that went on my arms. They were so cool. I’d swim around until I got tired then I’d float with just my head and shoulders out of the water. I never did get tall enough to touch the bottom before we moved into town. Saddest day of my young life when we had to leave that pool behind. And our city yards had no room for even a small one.
I hadn’t been in a pool since – other than one afternoon at a friend’s house a few years ago. I realized then that I was a little bit rusty and spent most of the time in the shallow end. So a couple weeks ago I bought a swimsuit and signed up for swimming lessons. Buying the suit was an adventure in and of itself. I had no idea how hard it would be to find a relatively modest swimsuit. The next adventure was the lessons themselves. I had so much fun. The lady who taught the class was phenomenal. Good at explaining things while making it fun at the same time. The class was actually intended for first-time swimmers, so it covered the basics. Which was perfect. I could swim already, but like I said, never very good. And even that was 20 years ago. The lessons gave me a solid grounding in proper technique.
Someday I dream of having a place in the country where I can put an uber-cool in-ground swimming pool in the back yard. Complete with waterfall and slide. The kind that costs more money than I should spend on something non-essential. I wouldn’t mind living in a tiny little house for a time if that’s what it would take to pay for the pool. Impractical? Probably. Loads of fun? Oh yeah. And absolutely awesome for raising kids. I’m a firm believer in the work hard, play hard philosophy and that’s how I want to raise my kids. There are many things I want them to learn, and how to have fun is one of the big ones. Real fun – good, old-fashioned, honest-to-goodness, outdoor play. I want to give them the same beautiful childhood my parents gave me. And a swimming pool is a big part of that.