When I was a kid, I loved the water – on TV mostly. In real life, it was something to akin to a lurking creature looking to choke the life out of me. I have no idea how I got this fear of water, which had me taking beginner lessons at the late age of thirteen. But, wherever it came from, it’s not a dominant gene passed along by me. My three (almost four!) year old daughter is in love with the water, particularly this summer when the default position of what we do that day is go to the pool.
Luckily, Moody Park Community Pool was good enough to open last month; an outdoor oasis to be found at the Southwest corner of the park. We weren’t there on opening day, but we were dutifully lined up a few days afterward, with all of the children in their swimming finery waiting as patiently as they could before the pool opens (1:15PM – 7:55PM ,with free admission on weekends).
The pool boasts a full lifeguarding staff, tiled changing areas including family changing rooms, deck chairs and plentiful places to sunbathe, a paddling pool for toddlers and babies, and a good-sized main pool complete with slide in the middle section and diving in the deep end. As far as I’m concerned, it’s an asset to the area, and a great place for me and my daughter to spend some time together having fun and learning how to move in the water and have fun while doing it.
The facility is definitely centred around parents with their kids. I was instructed to keep my Girl within arms reach at all times, given her age. But, there seem to be the requisite gaggles of older kids that don’t seem to have an awareness of their surroundings, throwing balls, inner tubes (!), themselves, this way and that without looking around first. The lifeguards seem unaware of this, or are perhaps less uptight than I am. That’s not the way they made lifeguards when I was a kid, but I digress.
The thing that really counts of course is not curmudgeonly dad and his ‘hey you kids get off my lawn’ attitude. The real question is: does the Girl get a kick out of it. And boy, does she ever. There is something about a community pool which brings out the enthusiasm in every kid. And the wide smiles, the gales of laughter, and the joy of play is never stronger than when she and I go to Moody Park pool. It’s been the highlight of our summer together, while she splashes around, and I ponder the little flashes of bittersweet reality that she is becoming more the girl and less the baby I once knew, every time we go.
Life begins in water, and I suppose it makes sense that a lot of growth happens while we’re swimming, too. And what better thing is there than a swim in the summertime, anyway?
And because I’m a music geek, here are five swim-related tunes for your consideration and enjoyment: