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‘Adult swim’ always made waves with kids

POSTED: July 16, 2014 3:01 p.m.
 

We recently were on a mini-vacation and found some time to hang out at a swimming pool.

The pool wasn’t big and there was no lifeguard. The children playing in the pool were loud as they splashed and tossed around a beach ball. There were also several babies “swimming” with their mommies.

I love hearing the sound of happy children. And is there anything sweeter than the sound of a baby laughing? I don’t think so!

Watching the scene, of course, reminded me of how much our children enjoyed playing in the water.

I asked our teenage son if he remembered “adult swim” from his childhood at my parents’ neighborhood swimming pool.

“Yes, and I hated it,” was his answer.

I also remember “adult swim” days from my own childhood. They were pretty awful.

There  you were, jumping around in the water, playing all sorts of games, minding your own business, when the power-hungry lifeguard blew his whistle and ordered all kids out of the pool.

This took a while since, of course, nobody wanted to stop their playtime and get out. Sometimes, the lifeguard would have to again blow his whistle and yell at the kids who were in no hurry to leave.

When all of the children were finally out of the water, the longest 15 minutes began. As kids, we dried off with our beach towels, then went and got a snack if we had any money.

Mostly though, we sat around and watched the boring adults. I’m sure there were plenty of fashionable mom-types swimming, but the only ones I remember were the little old ladies who wore swimsuits that looked more like dresses and swim caps with multi-colored flowers all over them.

These ladies would slowly (painfully slowly) wade through the calm waters, leisurely practicing their strokes, as scads of young children watched with looks resembling something between longing and distain.

Through the eyes of children, adult swim was downright cruel. Small bodies lined the pool edges and restlessly waited for that seemingly lazy lifeguard to stop flirting with teenage girls, apply more tanning lotion (sunscreen was not widely used back then), and finally climb back up to his power-tower, where he would look down on his minions and finally — oh so slowly — blow that darn whistle.

Now it was time for revelry and a healthy dose of revenge. Every waiting child would hoot and holler while jumping wildly into the pool. Any slow, older lady undoubtedly did not appreciate the mayhem that ensued.

Playtime resumed until the next hour, when adult swim happened yet again. How funny to think something adults barely noticed was such a big thing to children.

When I think about it, I’m surprised “adult swim” is even allowed today. Chances are it could be considered “discriminatory.”

I haven’t been to a swimming pool with a lifeguard in years, so perhaps “adult swim” is a thing of the past.

 

Adlen Robinson is author of “Home Matters: The Guide to Organizing Your Life and Home.” E-mail her at contact@adlenrobinson.com.

 

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