Today I'm thankful for a new-to-us outdoor swimming pool membership.
It's just a mile or so from our house so it's easy to pop over there for a couple hours before or after dinner swim. Simon is in heaven - we've been there three days in a row now.
I grew up spending summers at a local outdoor pool from the time I was maybe six or seven through my first few college summers. It was/is one of my favorite things about growing up and it takes up a lot of room in my memories. Every summer was filled with one or more of the following: swimming lessons, swim team & swim meets, swimming with friends, teaching lessons, life-guarding, coaching swim team, hanging out with friends and all the craziness that went along with growing up with a core group of kids each summer.
I swear that yesterday as I looked over at the big pool from my chair next to the little kids wading pool that I could see memories from the past clear as day, like a movie replaying itself right in front of my eyes. I saw the parents who came to the swim meets and volunteered as time keepers and the guy who cooked the hamburgers for years and years. I saw my brother and I riding our bikes from our house to the pool Monday through Friday at 6AM for swim team practice. I saw the struggle to get in the water on so many of those mornings. I saw the routine of my summers and thought about how when I was in high school I was often there from 6AM until the pool closed at 8PM - a full day of practice, helping coach the little kids, then teaching lessons, then life-guarding. I saw myself coaching the littlest kids on the team when I was in college - encouraging and cheering on the speedy sixers (the six-year-olds) as they raced their way down one length of the pool to the roar of the crowd as they completed their lap (those littlest kids are now in college). I saw the boys and the girls and the relationship dynamics of my teenage years. I saw people I haven't seen in over 20 years and their smiles were as bright and real as if they were standing right in front of me and their voices as clear as if it was yesterday.
When I finally blinked I saw my own kids, one in the big pool and one in the wading pool, both enjoying the water and smiling and having fun, and it all came around full circle. I'm sure I daydreamed about this at some point when I was sitting in the life guard chair or playing Shark or riding in an old convertible Cadillac or seeing how long I could swim underwater without taking a breath - wondering what life would be like. It's even better than I imagined.
Today I'm thankful for the opportunity to give my kids the chance to create their own summer routines and their own favorite memories.
Today I'm thankful for the threads that weave their way throughout our lives.
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