Monday, January 02, 2017

Public Swim Without the Public

Since New Year's Day was a Sunday, Monday is a day off (at least it is in principle). For the kids it is the last day of vacation before school starts up again and my last full day in town before I head off to Toronto. The to-do list is long, but I feel a strong need to spend time with the family before time runs out.

I had planned to spend much of the morning packing, but instead I get pulled into doing some work for the office. I can tell Katie is getting a bit sick of me sitting at the kitchen table staring at a computer, but she is excited when we come up with a plan for the day. This afternoon she can have a play-date at Evie's house while the rest of us go see the new Star Wars: Rogue One movie, and then I will take the kids swimming after dinner. Katie says that she would like to see the movie when it comes out on video and she can watch it at home.

We order reserved seats for the 3:30pm show, and we think about calling some family to see if anyone wants to come, but it's pretty last minute so we just go ahead. The show turns out to be really great, and when the lights come up we find out we were only 2 seats away from R's sister and our niece and nephew. What are the chances? Scott is a bit jealous that they got pop and he didn't.

Time is a bit tight to get off to public swimming at 6:45pm, so we grab Wendy's on our way to pick up Katie. The kids much prefer the toys from McDonald's happy meals, but R much prefers the gluten-free selections available at Wendy's. As it turns out, Katie gets a duplicate toy to the one she got last week when we did our road trip to Idaho. She is a bit sad about that, but she bounces back pretty fast, especially since we are in a hurry to go swimming, which was her idea.

As we sit at the table I get a little choked up inside, since I will be missing these family meals for the next few months. Even though we are scarfing burgers out of paper bags, I savour the moment. I am going to miss this.

Katie had said to me the previous day that she wanted me to take her swimming before I left. Honestly, if that is the only thing she wants, why shouldn't we do it? We had considered going to the pool in Cochrane, but Scott recently went ot Shouldice Pool for a cub scout activity and really wanted to do the diving boards again. Sounds like a great idea, plus I still have some pre-paid credits for that pool from when I was triathlon training a few years ago.

We show up at the pool and I worry that it might be closed, since there are 3 cars in the lot and I can see through the window that the pool water hasn't got a ripple in it. But I had looked up the hours online and it specifically said that there would be public swimming tonight.

As it turns out, the pool is open, but there are only 3 guys hanging out on the side of the dive tank, plus 2 lifeguards running the place. Maybe there is one more person in the steam room, but that's it. We have the main pool all to ourselves for swinging on ropes, playing on a floating hippo mat and a green duckie mat. We have all 6 diving rings. The kids show me how they can swim the length of the 25m pool. They do great. Katie is absolutely adorable. She can swim the whole way if she stays on her back. She alternates between an expression of concentration and a smile of delight. Scott moves everywhere wtih comfortable confidence. I climb up on the hippo mat and Katie pulls me around the deep end.

Eventually we take our turn in the dive tank while the other guys go play with a ball in the main pool. Scott shows Katie how to bounce off the diving board and she gives it a try. The diving board doesn't move when she leaps off of it but she gets great distance out of her jump and she immediately scrambles out to do it again. After a few rounds on the little board Scott jumps off the high board. Katie doesn't hesitate to follow, and it seems Scott and I are more concerned about her than she is. She does fine, but she prefers the little board. I think she got a lot of water up her nose on the high board.

Finally, we hit the steam room. The kids have never been in one. I love introducing them to things. It is so fun. We hit the button to turn on the steam cycle and the kids seem like they can't handle it trying to breathe in there. But just when I think they've had enough and we start to leave they tell me that they want to hit the steam room one more time. Apparently they love it. We are running a bit late getting out of the pool when Scott suggests we get donuts. I say, "Donuts? Where are we supposed to get donuts?" He says "Safeway" and I realize that there actually is a Safeway just down the street, and donuts are 50% there after 7pm. That sounds like a great plan for last night with Dad. We get the donuts and we are on our way home to find that Mom has shovelled the driveway while we have been gone. Poor lady. She didn't want to get cold in the pool, so she went outside in the snow instead.

All in all, a great last day at home with the family.

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