The non-inflatable (ahem) Olympic-sized backyard wading pool

My almost-two-and-a-half-year-old hasn't been all that thrilled with swimming this summer. It breaks my swimming heart, though I really can't blame him – it hasn't been all that warm and the wading pools are so cold I barely last three minutes up to my ankles!

To bridge the gap between the months ago swimming lessons and the lake we're heading to shortly, we got a small, blow-up wading pool for the backyard, and I decided to set it up while he napped.

I thought we had gotten a small, maybe three foot wide pool, but it turns out we got the Olympic-sized backyard wading pool. It's over two metres wide and is the entire width of our yard. It's pretty much a small above ground pool.

And then I tried for a full 45 minutes to inflate this way too big pool, wearing my sleeping three-month-old. After a LOT of cursing and flipping this ginormous plastic pool over and over again, it turns out, it turns out it's not an inflatable pool after all. (I only learned this through Instagram. Thanks Kerry and Carolyn for the tip!)  You just unroll it – also not easy – and fill it with GALLONS of water.

I wasn't sure how it was going to go over, so I only filled it a few inches, but after some getting used to it, Jack was all over it. Kicking, splashing, making "coffee soup"...

And when my fella came home, he hopped in too.  Gin and tonics poolside? Positively delightful! (Though I am going to make a dollar store trip and get one that is significantly smaller...!)

And then I took the baby to the Toronto launch of Jessica Lee's swim memoir, Turning, and got to meet her and Lindsey Sutherland, another on-line swimming pal in person, and it was all sorts of wonderful!

ps: if you're looking for the perfect book to read beside a lake/pool/river/backyard wading pool this summer, I can't recommend Turning enough.

  • Lindsay
  • Wednesday, July 12, 2017

On the swim-less days

Summer has finally arrived in Toronto. It has been gloriously sunny for days – perfect swimming weather – but I have a three-month-old and leaving her on the side of the pool in a car seat like my mom did with me back in the early 80s is probably not going to fly. So instead of swimming every day like I want to, I've decided to write about swimming every day that the outdoor pools are open in Toronto. I started on June 17th and will keep on until Labour Day.

Some days are long meandering tales of swimming and water and lakes and rivers, other days are just a few words. Some days I write about swimmable puddles, other days are about lifeguarding. It really is the next best thing to swimming...

June 18
I want my arms to be too tired to hold anything, my legs too heavy to carry the weight of me.

June 19
Four years ago today I sat on a beach made out of rock that clacked under foot, a dry, dull clack that competed with the carousel's song and the waves against the shore. I sat on the stones and wondered if this was the Atlantic, or the sea (I still don't know). I wondered if the tide was coming in or going out – I come from a world of lakes and find the idea of a shifting shoreline disorienting. I sat and debated going around and around on the carousel.

I let the sun sink into my shoulders and slipped sun-warmed stones into my pockets so I wouldn't forget the afternoon.

I wish I had gone swimming in Brighton.

June 26
I want my arms to be too tired to hold anything, my legs too heavy to carry the weight of me. I want to lose count and lost time and feel the calm flood my lungs, the calm that settled into the rhythm of my arms, my breath – 1-2-3-breath, a glimpse of the lane rope, 1-2-3-breath, a glimpse of the tiled edge.

July 1
Underneath the lifeguard chair, between the pool and the deck,
the smallest bit of green watches the sun shift turquoise and blinding.

  • Lindsay
  • Thursday, July 6, 2017

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