When I was a kid, I lived in the Arizona desert country. Getting wet involved jumping in an irrigation ditch or the Gila River or a water tank. It was a rare event, much anticipated and long remembered.
Then my family moved up near Lake Michigan and I was introduced to the concept of a beach. My cousin lived very near the beach and when I stayed with her, we would walk to the beach. Swimming in the lake involved fish and other debris, but nothing that was seriously dangerous.
We moved to Chicago and I learned about municipal swimming pools. All summer long my brothers and I joined the long line of kids waiting outside the fence for the life guards to open the pool. It was a place we could actually go to without my parents tagging along. Imagine that.
Not long after I married we moved to Houston where every apartment complex and subdivision had a pool. My children lived there all summer from the time the pool opened until it closed. The few days it rained, they moped around the house like someone had killed their best friend.
And then we moved to upstate New York. Swimming places were few and far between. They were expensive and far enough away that the most practical deal was a packed lunch with the plan to stay all day. My children finished growing up there and I quit looking for a pool or beach or swimming hole to visit.
Then we moved to Baltimore to an apartment complex with a lovely pool. No fee to use the pool and it's open six days a week. Initially I didn't go to the pool because I assumed it would be filled with kids. Eight hundred apartments would yield a lot of kids.
Well, it isn't so. Today my neighbor and I went to the pool with a couple of young friends. For quite a while we were the only ones in the pool. Five people in a pool. Seems a shame that there weren't more people using the pool. But today's kid doesn't find it a priviledge. They don't go outside and play or trot down to the pool to hang out. They're inside in the AC with the video games and movies.
Aside from the exercise issue, there's another side issue that affects their health. We're in the midst of a crisis regarding vitamin D. Sixty percent of the population (kids included) are vitamin D deficient. It only requires fifteen minutes in the sun daily to meet the requirements to be healthy. Hmmm. Fifteen minutes.
Not really all that much time. Fifteen minutes at the pool, jumping in with their friends, splashing the adults foolish enough to sunbathe on the side of the pool, playing marco polo with the other kids. Exercise and vitamin D all in one neat package.
Well, I don't really know why the kids don't use the pool. But since they don't, I think I'll drag my neighbor down there. We're both vitamin D deficient so we could use a little sun and the pool is excellent exercise for our arthritis...
See you at the pool.
If you haven't read today's Crazy Blog Serial hop over to Amarinda's blog at http://www.amarindajones.blogspot.com or if you would like to get to know Kelly better check out http://www.kkirch.blogspot.com