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Column

Summer at the pool

Summer has started and my girls are busy enjoying all the luxuries of being able to at stay home and play all day. This year, they have a new baby-sitter coming to the house everyday, which is very exciting, to say the least.

The week leading up to summer vacation, I was asked multiple times a day when Miss M. would be back and we had a countdown going on, not to the last day of school but when the baby-sitter would start. After a full week together, the girls are just as excited for Monday to come and to see their new favorite person.

Also this year, we decided to get a membership to our local country club, mainly so the girls could go swimming at the pool. They are now big enough to swim comfortably in the shallow end and since we can literally see the pool from our house, it is a convenient place to enjoy outdoor activities in the heat.

When I was younger, I basically lived at the pool from June through August. All of my friends were also members and we would be there from when it opened at 12:30 p.m. to dinner break at 5:30 p.m. and back again from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. when it closed.

My cousins and I also had a tradition of swimming on the first day it opened, even if the water was freezing. We were also known to keep the lifeguards in their stands, even if we were the only ones there, until close, which I learned later as a lifeguard, is very annoying.

At the pool, we went through the yearly certification to swim in the deep end, which consisted of swimming continuously from one side to the other and back and treading water for a minute or so. We then went on to spend hours playing games including Marco Polo, gator, gator sleep and many others who I can’t remember the names.

I passed every level of swim lessons by the time I was 10 which came in handy later when I worked as a lifeguard at the pool I had frequented through middle school. I did gain a much larger appreciation for lifeguards and what they have to put up with from kids after taking that role in high school.

I hope that as the girls begin their years at the pool, they make some of the same memories I have. Because of changing times, they will always have a baby-sitter with them and won’t be able to roam freely as soon as I did when I was a kid. Even with less freedom, the days of summer play will hopefully be some they look back on as the best that life can get, for a kid anyway.

Contact Jamee A. Pierson at jpierson@newtondailynews.com

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