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Thankful Thought | No.5

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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Thankful Thoughts is a semi-regular series. If you’ve missed any of the previous weeks please check out the archive. Click above to download a free Thankful Thought overlay to add to your own photo. Thankful Thought | 001 included a rounded corner mask and a video tutorial to show you how to work with both the mask and the photo overlay.

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51 thoughts

  1. ELaine Keller says…
    06/14/2011

    THANK YOU for sharing and prompting us to take the time to document our life for US and our kids. Just think how amazing it will be for Simon and Anna to read this in 20 years....

    Reply 0 Replies
  2. Marty says…
    06/14/2011

    Thanks Ali!

    Reply 0 Replies
  3. Lori says…
    06/14/2011

    This is so beautiful and well written. As always, Ali, thank you for sharing and being open with your readers and enjoy those glorious pool days!

    Reply 0 Replies
  4. Gail says…
    06/14/2011

    Thank you for another Thankful Thoughts! As a kid, I too had the pleasure of riding my bike to the city pool every day in the summer ... how long could I swim under water, how fast could I swim from end to end, how long could I float on my back, would my "boyfriend" be at the pool today, what snack would I buy, etc. ... what great memories!! Thanks for the flashback :-)

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  5. Sarah R says…
    06/14/2011

    This is so beautifully written, one of my favorite blog posts!Thank you for triggering my own memories of travelling to my grandparents' farm community for two weeks every summer to take swimming lessons in the outdoor pool there!

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  6. Liz says…
    06/14/2011

    we love the pool around here too...we are just hoping that it warms up around here real soon!!!

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  7. Johanna says…
    06/14/2011

    A beautiful post, with a wonderful quote in your last line. Thank you for sharing your thankful thoughts.

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  8. Sylvia says…
    06/14/2011

    Wonderfully written! So enjoy your blog, Ali! Thanks so much!

    Reply 0 Replies
  9. MARIA says…
    06/14/2011

    Beautiful, beautiful, post. Thank you so much for sharing, Ali.

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  10. {vicki} says…
    06/14/2011

    Yesterday, I got to enjoy our pool with my son for the first time this year!

    Very enjoyable.

    Loved your post today!

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  11. Jan from Canada says…
    06/14/2011

    Lovely post Ali. I love it when we have moments like that. When memories of our own childhood are reflected back to us in our children's lives. Snapshots sent from the heart to remind us to be thankful.. and it did :)

    Cheers,
    Jan

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  12. Michele says…
    06/14/2011

    Thanks Ali. Nice memories and more memories to create with your kids.

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  13. hsmema says…
    06/14/2011

    Thank you so much!

    Reply 0 Replies
  14. Stephanie George says…
    06/14/2011

    Wow, what a fantastic journaling post. Love what you wrote, and I know, someday, your kids will love reading it too.

    Reply 0 Replies
  15. Kelly says…
    06/14/2011

    Thank you for this post, Ali. It's really lovely, and helps me frame a similar experience I had recently.

    Reply 0 Replies
  16. Michelle (aka mybelle101) says…
    06/14/2011

    Ali, I love this post! It's like you read my mind...my two little guys started their summer swim lessons yesterday, and I too was thinking back to the days where I was at the pool from before dawn until closing, do exactly the same things: practice, teaching lessons, lifeguarding, coaching, and wondering if my guys would choose that same path for themselves. Thankfully, this year they are both excited about swim lessons, so I'm hoping they'll hit my only goal - being able to self-rescue - by the end of summer. Hooray for the pool! ;)

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  17. Paula G says…
    06/14/2011

    Beyond awesome :)

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  18. Kelly Silva says…
    06/14/2011

    I'm thankful for this post. I too was on a summer swimteam for about 10 years and those 6am practices were a killer. I remember... Riding my bike home with a wet head and a towel draped around my neck. The scrathcy feel of the starting blocks under my feet. Learning how to dive of the blocks in the shallow end. Two hand touch when finishng the breaststroke. Trying to master the the butterfly stroke. Hoping my coach would never put me in the IM. Helping roll up the lane lines.

    Thanks for bringing back a ton of memories

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  19. sandie says…
    06/14/2011

    Thank you Ali - very generous.

    Reply 0 Replies
  20. o-girl says…
    06/14/2011

    I enjoyed reading your insights, thoughts & memories of the swimming pool and also about the 3rd grade field trip. Thank you for sharing your 'thankful thought' overlays too.

    Happy Summering...

    Reply 0 Replies
  21. Tiffany says…
    06/14/2011

    I've read your blog for awhile now, but I've never commented to say just how much I enjoy it. Not only do you have an incredible gift for documenting life in a creative and insightful way, but you are a wonderful writer as well. Your writing is always so eloquent and thought-provoking and I just wanted to say thank you for taking the time to share your thoughts and words with everyone. :)

    Reply 1 Reply
    1. Ali says…
      06/14/2011

      Thank you Tiffany - that was really nice.

  22. Asha says…
    06/14/2011

    I have very vivid memories of childhood swimming as well. It was all I wanted to do, the pool, the lake, anywhere, anytime. I was like a fish. I now have children of my own and our summers are filled with swimming at local pools, friend's houses and lakes. the subject keeps coming up whether or not we should get a pool and I told my husband, 'ya know what? i don't want one, I like searching for a place to swim in the summer, it's more fun to get out than to just swim in the backyard". I shocked myself with that answer

    Reply 1 Reply
    1. Paula in Australia says…
      06/14/2011

      We have a pool in our backyard and I am very blessed to have it but know what you mean about searching and longing for a swim in the long hot summer during childhood when a creek or lake was just heaven!

  23. aubrey says…
    06/14/2011

    Great shot!
    How cool he loves to swim.
    My kids are fish too ;)

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  24. Paula in Australia says…
    06/14/2011

    Ali again a wonderful thought provoking post. Thank you for your words and the way you write. I am sitting here in Australia in winter on a cold day and your words warmed me up.

    I am very lucky to have a pool in my backyard now that I have grown so my daughter will have access to one without having to go to the local pool but I know exactly what you mean. I used to love riding my bike with my best friend down to the local creek or nagging Mum and Dad to drive us somewhere for a swim in the summer. We lived a little way from the town pool so it wasn't always easy to go there but the creeks and streams around home were always a welcome cool off.

    I will need to make a special effort to do that for my daughter now and not just take the pool in our backyard for granted. Wonderful memories indeed! Thanks again :-)

    Reply 0 Replies
  25. Carole says…
    06/14/2011

    Beautifully written. I had tears in my eyes when I finished reading this post. Thanks for sharing.

    Reply 0 Replies

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