One of the perks of our new house is living ONE block away from our suburb's public pool. I know this congers images of old slimy tile and naked 80+ year old women in locker rooms, but in these parts, and the rest of the country (I would imagine, because St. Louis is rarely on the cutting edge of these things), the gross pools of yester-year have been replaced with brand new, beautifully landscaped water parks. Also, I am realizing that my view of public pools was 100% shaped by the YWCA, and it is a terrifying memory that makes my toes automatically curl into club feet when entering a locker room.
I love this pool, and that we walk or ride our bikes to it; however, it has a system of governing laws that are matched only by the BIBLE. And that makes me a little crazy--which is FUNNY, because I'm the kind of girl that prides herself on rule following.
There are height requirements and restrictions for the BIG water slides, and the little kid slide. This rule is a steady 48 inches--less than that, and you are considered a toddler, more and you might as well pop a beer, because as far as the pool is concerned, you're an independent adult. And NEVER has this been so much of an issue as this year, when three of our four children hover within an inch (or 4, in L's case) around the 48-inch mark. This makes our pool time very much like a complicated word problem, trying to figure out who can do what activity with whom; and 48-inches is very subjective (I'm dead serious) to the teenage lifeguard that is on duty at that particular moment. I get that Little J is .5 inches too short for the big slides (though he is RARELY turned away)--but what KILLS me, is when Big J is blocked and reprimanded for going down the little slide, because he can neither SWIM, nor see without his glasses. While his twin, L, on the other hand, who can swim like a fish, is having herself a ball cutting in line in front of the two year olds, as the self proclaimed queen of the toddler slide (she will officially meet the height requirements for the big slides when she is 23).
What I am getting at here, is that there is ALWAYS a story behind and beyond the RULES.
Which is a really great life lesson for me.