As summer begins, the thoughts of most kids turn to their favorite summertime activity…swimming. And swimming knows no age limit…young and old alike love to go swimming. When I was a little kid, we occasionally got to go to the park next to the grade school. There was a wading pool there, where all kids who couldn’t swim yet went to cool off in the summertime…and it was always packed. There was hardly any room to move sometimes, but it was cool and the day was hot, so you didn’t complain. That wading pool has long since been removed…partly because of some drain safety issues that we never had problems with, but I guess there were some in some other pools, and partly because of so many people buying the backyard wading pool. The backyard wading pool was just easier.
By the time my girls were born, there were no wading pools in town. We got them a wading pool as soon as they were old enough to walk, because it gave them something to do in the summer. We lived out in the country, and going to town for activities was a wasted day. They didn’t care about going to town, as long as they could play in their pool. The girls would spend hours out in that pool, and come in looking like prunes, but they always had such a good time. I think I loved the wading pool as much as they did, because is was a wonderful entertainer. All too soon though, the backyard wading pool became old news, and they wanted to go to the big pool in town…not that I can blame them, it was just that it meant that I had to make the trip to town to take them.
The backyard wading pool has never lost its charm, however. When my grandchildren were born, we found ourselves back in wading pool mode very quickly. It was great watching the grandkids play in their pool and having such a great time. The wading pools of today are much cooler that the ones we had when my girls were little. They have slides and other fancy things built into them. If we wanted a slide, we had to put the pool near our swing set. It worked, but today you don’t have to do that. I have often wondered how we ever managed without those pools, and how kids ever survived the hot summers. I guess we did have the sprinkler, but I don’t think it could really compare to the backyard wading pool.
When our children are little, they are so easy to please. A ball and a wading pool made for hours of fun, and at that time, usually cost under $10.00, so they were affordable on any budget. The girls loved playing in the pool on a hot summer day, and I could sit in my chase lounge and read a book. Those were wonderful, lazy summer days.
Of course, in those days, any video games that were available were expensive and primitive. We got one when they were a little older, but unlike the kids today who seem to be born with technology in their hands, the girls used their imaginations. I’m not saying that technology is a bad thing, since I’m a big techy too, just that it wasn’t as easy to come by back then.
My girls, like kids today as well, played in boxes, because they could imagine it was a fort or some such thing. They had Cabbage Patch dolls, and played house. They and their friends played tea party and dress up. They loved playing in a sand box, making little cities or building sand castles.
The technology we have today is amazing. You can look up on the internet whatever you can imagine in your mind. The games kids play become more and more graphic. Murder and crime don’t phase our kids anymore, because they have seen it all on a game. Sometimes we can’t even relate to a tragic event, because it looks so much like the fantacy world we have watched on television. I sometimes wonder if the criminals and terrorists get some of their ideas directly from television and video games. I’m not saying that technology is bad, just that it takes away a precious commodity from our kids sometimes…imagination.