The Good Ole Summertime


Summer has finally arrived; both social and meteorological summer have finally arrived. Summer as a climate season arrives at the same time every year, but social summer begins when schools are out. In some areas this year snow and other cold bad weather postponed school closings considerably beyond the opening of swimming pools in the Washington area. And swimming pools are where major activity involves kids from age 5 or 6 to 17: summer swimming teams!

When we joined a summer pool, our oldest daughter was about 8 years old. She was scooped up by Mr. Adams who was on his way to becoming a legend in Northern Virginia swimming. He taught what we might call the pre swimmers, youngsters from about 5 to 7. Almost none could resist Mr. Adams’ blandishments and after a few weeks there were few of his “subjects” who did not find him wonderful.  The hard work they put in for him showed up in good swimmers and winning teams

One of the great things about team swimming is that six year olds earn the same points for winning as do sixteen year olds.  There is great camaraderie with younger swimmers being cheered on and commiserated with by the older kids as well as the other way around.

In those long ago days the whole process was very informal with parents generally filling in the many jobs; timing, judging, starting, keeping the records updated, etc. We wore whatever clothes were comfortable and tried to stay in the background of the meet. When our last child swam her last meet, my wife and I did what most others did, passed our jobs on to people with younger children.

This burst of nostalgia is brought on by the fact that our youngest grandson is swimming his last summer. Next year the deck will be hot, the water cooler, the swimmers jumping up and down cheering and the officials sweating. For us, the difference will be that we will have no personal investment and no reason to go. Life moves on.

  1. #1 by Marv on July 14, 2014 - 1:28 pm

    Dr Boswell,
    You are welcome to come with us on Saturdays starting at 9 AM (at Northern VA pools, far from Chevy Chase) to see 10 year old Grandson Sammy swim races, each less than a minute, doing the back stroke, the fly and perhaps another event. Wednesday evening you can see 7 year old Molly who just started swimming races. (Last year she was a tadpole.) Every Friday we find out where the location of the pool hosting the event and Google mapping instructions. Next one, I think, is near Savannah. We complain but love seeing Sammy, talking with his other grandparents,
    who know much more about swimming than we do. (We come from desert people). Wife Joan, has started to see herself as an expert on turns. Two more meets this summer. We will miss them.

  2. #2 by John Boswell on July 14, 2014 - 2:38 pm

    Dear Marvin, Thank you for your invitation, but we have driven to Savannah several times ourselves and we will just finish out the year with our grandson.
    JGB

(will not be published)