Pool? Lake? Ocean?
Which is your favorite swimming spot?
A Midwestern child, I grew up paddling in pools, where the water was temperate and the loveliest clear shade of turquoise.
Later, I learned to enjoy the fresh water of lakes, with the terrifying, exhilarating realization that I had no idea how deep the bottom was. The shores were woodsy, and occasionally a weed tickled my toes. Well, I hoped it was a weed rather than a nibbling fish. It was in a lake I learned to swim fast.
Finally, I entered the ocean. Not, at first, a great success. The salt water stung my eyes. The surging waves turned me upside down and sent sand up my nose. But the more I swam, the more I enjoyed testing myself against the swells. I also became obsessed with beach combing and building sand castles.
It’s as a mother I love swimming best: watching my children run shrieking with joy into any body of water, flipping about like baby seals, splashing and diving. They never want to come out. I love organizing a nest for our family: bright beach blankets, big fat towels, shade umbrella, and a cooler full of drinks and snacks. When my kids finally come shivering blue-lipped up out of the water, it’s a pleasure to wrap them in warm beach towels.
My husband and I also have our own special accessory: beach chairs, comfy for reading, lounging, and–just for a moment, of course—snoozing, beneath the hot summer sun, by an ocean, lake, or pool.