Friday, June 7, 2013

At the pool












I've been to the local city pool every day this week, for the small Bears' swimming lessons. We'll be back all of next week, and for two more weeks in mid-July. We're very fortunate to live only five minutes from one of the city's nicest outdoor pool complexes. It's on the grounds of a public school. Lessons are very inexpensive, but thorough. The city does a good job maintaining the whole property and hires nice pool employees: all are in their late teens or early twenties, high school or college students, and have always been professional and polite. I really love my neighborhood and our excellent pool is just one of the reasons.

The small Bears are having fun in their lessons, and seem to be learning a lot. The LB goes to the large pool, three feet deep at each end and five feet in the center, and the GB goes in the toddler pool, which is 1.5 feet around the edges and two feet deep in the center. Each is enjoying the lesson, making new buddies and getting to know the teachers. I consider myself lucky that both small Bears have always been "water babies"; from an early age, they loved the water and never balked at getting in. Both started swimming lessons early and have done well with them. Most importantly, they really enjoy their time in the pool.

I spend the thirty-five minute lesson under a big pine tree off to the side of the pool area. Other parents sit there too, and in previous years, I've had some nice conversations with mothers. This year is unfolding to be more of a "keep-to-yourself-Jen" kind of experience, though. Lots of negative, complaining people and some yucky gossip too. People have a lot to say about the way others parent, particularly around the desire, or lack thereof, to "make" their kids swim. Like I said, I haven't encountered much resistance from my own kids around swimming, but I know it's common. I guess it's a pretty hot topic among this crowd and they're pretty sure they're right, on both sides of that argument. Luckily, I have a lot of new library books at the moment, and reading helps me shut it out.

Our days are unfolding in a mostly-peaceful, semi-structured manner. Some mornings after the pool, we might go to the library, pop into the grocery store or fill up the gas tank. We went to the car wash once. This morning, we did the library (to get the small Bears' weekly summer reading prize and have their reading logs stamped; they got cute little stuffed puppies as their prize this week). I'm doing the summer reading program for adults; I have to fill in a space on a card for every hour I spend reading. After ten hours, my card goes into the kitty for a weekly drawing. After the library, we went to the bagel store to buy a baker's dozen for today's (and subsequent days') lunch. I ran into a friend at the bagel store whom I hadn't seen in awhile and it was nice to chat with her. Simple, easy days, stretching out far ahead of me - that's my summer so far.

Tomorrow, the Bear is putting on a barbecue dinner for his father, as an early Father's Day celebration. He is making ribs in the outdoor smoker. I'm going to make broccoli slaw, corn on the cob and sourdough bread, with strawberries and angel-food cake for dessert. We haven't cooked together in awhile, and I'm looking forward to it. We're excited to do something nice for his father too, of course, especially right now because he had a household accident recently and suffered some injuries. He's doing better now and we're glad he wasn't more seriously hurt. As with all the people I love, I enjoy making a nice meal for him, for Father's Day or any day.

22 comments:

  1. Your pictures look so lovely. I am so glad you are having such a lovely time with your children and family. I am the same as you .... I hate negativity and totally " zone out" when many people start complaining.
    Of course everyone needs a gentle hug sometimes but life is too precious to grouch too much.
    Hope you have a great time with your Father In Law.
    Albuquerque sounds such a far away place to me xxxx

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  2. How great to have such a wonderful facility in your area. I'm happy your little Bears are enjoying their swim lessons and you have time to read a good book. Your family is blessed to have your giving heart.
    Jayne
    Handmade Cuties

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  3. The water looks lovely. Your story about the pool side parents reminds me of a quote I read recently, "Your opinions don't make you a better person, your actions do." I think that would be a great slogan for a t-shirt. Maybe you could wear it to the pool?! :)

    Hope you are having a lovely weekend!

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  4. What a smashing looking outdoor pool :D Its generally too cold in the UK for something like this

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  5. What beautiful pictures of your community pool, and so cool that the lessons are outside. I often see and hear negative discussions from other mums. I always think if you haven't got anything nice to say, don't say it at all. I don't know where they have the energy to be so opinionated about other people's parenting skills! We have had barbecues all week, they are the best. Enjoy yours, it sound delicious. And your summer so far is panning out nicely! X

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  6. Lovely pics Jennifer and so nice that your little ones are enjoying the pool and swimming. Gosh but it can be difficult having to put up with all that criticism and negativity going on around you, but so good that you can block it out with a good book!
    It sounds like your summer is happening beautifully - I wish you much happiness enjoying the lovely activities with your sweet family.
    Joy x

    joyjinkscreations.blogspot.com

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  7. Wow, that pool! It's fantastic. You don't seem many outdoor pools here. Funny how parents can be (I say parents but I mean women) about other parents and how they do things. I always think the ones who bitch and comment the most are the most insecure. I'd stick with your book and the shady tree!

    I hope you father in law recovers from his accident. Enjoy that family meal. x

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  8. That looks like the best place ever! And only five minutes away - you lucky spud! Shame to hear about the negativity vibe but good that you can rise above it. Sounds like your Summer is panning out beautifully x Jane

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  9. How nice to be so close to that great pool complex! And how not nice to be surrounded by negativity while at your little bear's lessons. It sounds like you are handling it in just the right way though.

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  10. Wow, you are so lucky to have such a nice pool with such a gorgeous backdrop of mountains so close to you! As you may know, I love swimming and swimming outside is awesome! I swim indoors.. have fun at your BBQ! ((hugs)), Teresa :-)

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  11. Just found your blog and loving it. Maybe we can follow each other on GFC or bloglovin? Please feel free to stop by my blog and let me know. XO

    http://mevamarie.blogspot.com/

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  12. Your pool also boasts a very beautiful view of mountains! I could easily spend my mornings there too ;) Too bad about the unhappy parents you have to sit with, it sort of spoils the nice mood you had going. Your start on summer sounds perfect! Wendy

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  13. What a lovely looking pool. Hope you all enjoy a lovely family meal.
    M x

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  14. I love reading your snippets about your life. The pool looks lovely (deeply envious of the sunshine!) even if you're finding some of the other parents a bit hard-going. Our county library system has reading challenges for children, but not for adults - I might mention it to the library staff when I'm next in, as well as to a friend who's a librarian in another library at the opposite side of the UK to us.

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  15. What a lovely post- the pool looks great and it sounds like you're having a nice summer so far. I like the idea of the reading challenges too :)

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  16. Hi Jennifer,What a lovely spot to read or crochet and I absolutely loooove your mountain in the back!!!I really do appreciate mountains so much because where we live,on the fringes of the Kalahari desert, it's sooooo very flat!!!Hope you have a fantastic BBQ and have a fabulous week!!!
    Love
    AMarie

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  17. I'm jealous of the pool, my husband will only swim in lakes and rivers so that is where my boys have learned to swim :) Luckily I was a certified lifeguard in high-school so I have been able to teach them. As for the other parents, I really don't understand why people can be so gossipy. Let it go!

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  18. H Jennifer,

    What a gorgeous part of the world you live in. Those Mountains!!! Your Summer is sounding lovely. It's nice when the kids are at an age where you don't need to be in the pool with them for their swimming lessons and can sit under a tree and do a spot of reading/crafting or chatting (to nice parents!) while watching from the sidelines.... Hope you had a wonderful Fathers Day - our's isn't until September! Mel x

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  19. That pool looks so inviting! And those blue skies and mountains are breathtaking!! Our daughter was not into swim lessons last month, so we decided to take a break and try again later in the summer with hopefully, more luck. I hope you all enjoyed the BBQ... the food sounds delicious!

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  20. Beautiful pictures:)
    Great blog!

    Follow me, if you like!
    http://fashionsecrets-oksana.blogspot.com

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  21. Jennifer,

    I was struck by the mountains in your picture. Like you, I find 'yukky' conversations of parents tiresome. My experience has shown me that there will always be pushy parents that live vicariously through their children. I'm glad that your little bears are enjoying their lessons. Sam and Alfie hated swimming lessons, although Alfie loves surfing now though. I think the lesson were not much fun, and full of very competitive mothers!! I didn't enjoy the experience much either.

    Leanne xx

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  22. Oh how I miss swimming! It all looks so lovely & fun! Hope you enjoyed your bbq :)

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