Pool mice

I grew up in the water.  In my hometown, there is a large earthen dam which was built in 1940 to help with flood control on the Allegheny River.  The outflow from the dam forms a really cool creek/small river that has been called the beach since forever.  It really is sort of beachy since it has imported sand, a lifeguard chair, and a concession stand.

Anyhow, since the age of 4 or so, my Mom took my brother and me to the beach every single weekday.  A few days ago, I mentioned that we were outside all summer long.  Part of that was facilitated by our daily trips to the beach where we soaked up tons of vitamin d as we played, unprotected, in the sun.

Part of the beach experience was swimming lessons.  We took swimming lessons 2 or 3 days a week all summer, every summer.  My brother and I became proficient swimmers in the murky, sometimes fast moving, freezing cold water of the outflow of Tionesta Creek.  I worked as a lifeguard at a pool all through college but that was about my only experience with a pool.  We were river rats…we lived in the river and drank enough of it to be part fish.

We have no such opportunity for my kids and it just doesn’t seem right that my kids are not yet great swimmers.  The kids’ aunt and uncle paid for swimming lessons at the local rec-center and we’ve enjoyed watching the kids learn to swim.  Isaac has actually gotten pretty good, due especially to his frequent swim trips with his summer camp friends.  He is actually the most proficient swimmer in the class which leads me to the funny part.  The last 2 classes, the instructor has tried to get the kids to jump in the deep end.  Most of the smaller kids have “manned up” and done it but poor Isaac hasn’t yet found his nerve.  I took this video of him preparing to jump in this weekend.  It’s worth the download time to watch!  I love that little boy!

So, my kids are not yet river rats…they are more like pool mice…but they are well on their way and I am proud!

14 thoughts on “Pool mice

  1. Love the video! OUrs know how to swim pretty well – thanks to grandparents who have an in ground pool. Wish we had a pool like the one you used to swim in close by…

  2. Hey, this qualifies as a Way Back Whens-day post! Great memories. Video wouldn’t load for me I’ll have to try on my desktop and see if it works there.

  3. Kris – I wish we had a free pool nearby…no level ground here to build one! We are planning to be “creekers” this summer and canoe on the local creeks. Hopefully that will help!

    Caprilis – the video is pretty large so it might take awhile to load…holler if you still can’t get it later

  4. Darling kids. Of course, I think water should be a required feature of any childhood. I grew up wading in rivers, getting fingers pinched by crawfish, swimming, and skipping stones. The waters of western Virginia make up the biggest portion of the happy memories of my life.

    I’m so very glad that you are able to offer your children swimming lessons!


  5. I was surprised at the similarities between Isaac and me as well. Even his body build is just like mine was. We’ll keep on doing lessons and we’ll be in the river a lot more this summer…that will help for sure!

  6. I have a Google Alert for “Tionesta” and it picked up your blog post about Tionesta Beach. I managed the beach from 1974-1977 and I probably taught you some of those swimming lessons. The creek was really cold and I can’t believe we swam there, but those daily lessons did make one a good swimmer.

  7. Ron – You absolutely did teach me some of the time. I remember your name for sure…and were you a kayaker also? Our Moms hang out together some now…pretty funny! Glad you stopped by!

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