Sunday, January 31, 2010

Everything Seems Bigger When You Are A Kid

As part of our wintertime phys ed regimen, we went swimming today at a nearby pool:

My friend Angela took these pics. Thanks, Angela! They are really cute.

If you look at the top pic closely, you can see all the way to the other end of the pool. It is quite a long way away, perhaps 75 feet or so. But to me it looked small today because the last time I came to this pool, I was about eight and was taking swimming lessons there.

The pool looked really really big back then. So big, in fact, that I never actually got in it during my swimming lessons. I sat on the side; the poor instructor didn't stand a chance of getting me in there. The pool has this really great ledge, about a foot wide and a few inches lower than the edge, and kids and parents alike sit on it to get used to the water. But when I was small, sitting on that ledge was the closest I ever got to swimming.

And, I used to totally lie to my Mom about how great I was, too! There is a diving board at this pool, and I would go home and tell that I was jumping in off the high diving board, when in fact I wouldn't even go near it. Finally, one week my Mom came to observe her swimming prodigy and discovered the truth. She asked after class, 'why did you tell me you were jumping in off the high diving board?' And I told her, 'because I wanted you to think I was doing good at swimming' - without adding, 'so that I could stop this farce of weekly lessons during which I waste my time, and the instructor's, by not even getting wet.'

But I have a great Mom; I didn't have to add that last bit out loud. The weekly agony was stopped, and I learned to swim at my own pace, in peace. Thank you, Mom!

Here's the kicker: today, I knew that the pool would be smaller than I remembered, and I knew that the high diving board would be as well. Still, I thought, even if the diving board isn't exactly Olympic size, it's probably still pretty high, right? Fifteen, twenty feet, at least? Nope - it's four feet out of the water. Four feet.

I wondered how high it looked to Luke and Owen - who didn't jump in off the board, but swam happily over much of the rest of the pool. Luke, along with our buddy from down the street, even cannonballed in.

Right from the spot where, so long ago, I refused to put so much as a toe in the water.


Anonymous said...

My daughter (age 16) has been noticing for the past few years that things seem smaller to her than they did when she was little. I know what she means: the last time I visited the housing project where I grew up, it looked about as big as a Lincoln Log town! So I definitely get what you mean about "four feet"!

Anonymous said...

I feel very sure that at some point in the last (cough) years someone was nearly killed diving from such a horrendous height, so they lowered the diving board by at least 15 feet or so. I'd bet Mallomars on it!! ;)

The Stone Age Techie said...

Susan - I love the Lincoln Log town analogy! That's it exactly :-)

Topsy - it's a good thing I wasn't drinking my tea when I read your comment, I'd have snorted it all over the keyboard! Yes, I'm sure you are right, that's the answer :-)


Rana said...

I agree with Topsytechie, heaven forbid you jump off the high dive.

It is funny how things seem larger than life when you are a kid and then you look at it years later and think it's not that big.

I love the ledge on your pool. I wish we had something like that at our pool. The boys look like they had a great time.

Melissa R said...

I SO agree! The diving board of my youth memories was SO high. SO SO high! But as an adult I look at that same board and it's nothing :)