July 14, 2009
I still remember my little backyard kiddie pool. I'm guessing I had more than one, as this photo shows a square Raggedy Ann pool but I seem to remember a round one with a generic fish pattern on it -- though the designs always faded to nothing by midsummer -- but I remember dragging the hard plastic shells from their spot propped up against the side of our house to the flattest section of our yard. I remember they used to leave wet spots against the brown paint until we had aluminum siding installed. I remember how cold the hose water would be at first, and then how it would slowly warm up to bathwater temperatures as the hours passed.
I remember the disappointment of having to get out of the water -- even though my lips were blue and my nose was running and my eyelids were heavy -- but the disappointment was always tempered by the feeling of a dry towel, fresh clothes, the slow feeling of warmth returning.
I remember licking peanut butter off my pruny fingers, dripping watermelon down my front, using the towel to erase a milk mustache while staring out the window, contemplating the pool and how badly I wished to be back in it.
I remember smelling of sunscreen afterward, and my hair drying in crazy directions because I wouldn't let my mother comb it out, preferring to howl in misery at bathtime, because while I loved the pool, I still hated the bathtub.
I didn't even realize I remembered all this. I never thought about it, until today, while drying Ezra off with a gigantic towel, while watching Noah conquer invisible fires with the garden hose.
I used to assume that I would be a better parent than my own, that my children would have a much easier life than I did, that I would naturally correct all the many mistakes and injustices and teenage-fury-inducing moments. I don't really remember those either, but at one time they seemed so very, very important.
I hope they remember the pool.
Little you and Noah are identical! Love it!
I was way more of a fan of the Slip-N-Slide myself :) Especially when it got good and soaped up for super slip-n-slidage :)
Posted by: Miriam | July 14, 2009 at 04:27 PM
That's funny that Miriam said that, because I was thinking that picture of you looks like Ezra with long hair.
Posted by: LD's Mom | July 14, 2009 at 04:35 PM
I was going to say Noah with a wig, but I'm a day late and a dollar short. And the first time I ever commented too, damn.
Posted by: Marie | July 14, 2009 at 04:41 PM
Isn't it amazing how we can relive our own childhoods through our kids? They'll remember the pool. Just like you do.
Posted by: Cheryl S. | July 14, 2009 at 04:48 PM
Voting in the noah column
Posted by: Cobblestone | July 14, 2009 at 04:49 PM
Beautiful pictures of beautiful kids!
I remember my brother and I filling up our metal trash can with water and using it as our pool. (We had to take turns) ;-)
Posted by: Suzy Voices | July 14, 2009 at 04:55 PM
They will remember the pool :)
Posted by: Lorena | July 14, 2009 at 05:03 PM
Your title is one of the best words ever, and it makes me cry big assed tears to know that its definition is so very narrow that I will probably never be able to sneak it into casual conversation.
Posted by: anne nahm | July 14, 2009 at 05:05 PM
My GOD but do your children look exactly like you. Little clones! Adorable.
Posted by: Erin | July 14, 2009 at 05:15 PM
OMG, Noah looks exactly like you: totally cute!
I never had a pool growing up, but I remember my dad taking my sister and I to a pool and then letting us have either milkshakes or tomato juice (for me it was a hard choice b/c I LOVE tomato juice)
Posted by: Olga | July 14, 2009 at 05:22 PM
Oh, my gosh, what a beautiful post! I wasn't prepared and it made me all weepy. You're so right--parenthood makes you remember things you didn't even realize you remembered. The first time I took Dean out to play in the front yard of our new house, we were picking grass and I was immediately transported to my grandma's backyard in the late 70s. This parenting thing's kinda neat sometimes, huh?
Posted by: Jen L. | July 14, 2009 at 05:23 PM
Dammit Woman, stop making me cry!
Posted by: Sarah Booz | July 14, 2009 at 05:23 PM
I bet they'll remember.
I remember some of our "baby" pools, but the most vivid memories are of the pool where our family had a membership. It was within walking distance and the place I spent the most time in the summer once I was 8 or 9. We just got our family membership to a similar pool (even requires an uphill slog to get there), and I hope it will turn into the same kind of place for my son.
Posted by: Mouse | July 14, 2009 at 05:34 PM
so, i'm pretty sure you'll never be asked for a DNA test with respect to Noah after posting that photo of yourself!
And, I think we all remember the pools :-)
Posted by: MommyNamedApril | July 14, 2009 at 05:42 PM
Come clean. You didn't have babies. You had clones.
Great post about childhood memories. For me it was running through the sprinkler on a hot day.
Posted by: Nosaby | July 14, 2009 at 05:43 PM
They will. And they'll remember a mom that was warm and always willing to forgive, even if she ranted a lot. They'll remember all the love that exists in your house, between you and Jason, between them two, between mommy and them, daddy and them. Yes, they will remember laughing. A lot of laughing. We always remember the good things, and, as you say, the bad memories that once seemed so important won't matter.
Thank you so much for this post, Amy. I've had to erase too much of my own childhood, but you made remember some good things, and be happy that you do remember.
Posted by: cris | July 14, 2009 at 06:00 PM
Oh the cheeks..... Ezra has your cheeks! What a cutie you were :-) (are)
Posted by: Lauren | July 14, 2009 at 06:04 PM
So the little girl on your menu bar IS you, from the looks of it. Mystery solved.
Posted by: Natballs | July 14, 2009 at 06:08 PM
Oh Amalah! I so needed this today. Thanks for always placing life in perspective. I hope my kids remember the pool too.
Posted by: Shawnna | July 14, 2009 at 06:17 PM
I think I had everything in that picture from the shopping cart, the bottle you're holding that was from the groceries that came with the cart, the red plastic pail, the kiddie pool (mine was yellow with fish) and those lawn chairs with joints that could take a kid's finger off. Remember those? You had to tip the top back and crank it to get to the setting you wanted. The foot part flipped up too, and they always left a stripey pattern on your back. Good times!
And yes, your kids are clones of you except for the fact they're boys.
Posted by: Beret | July 14, 2009 at 06:22 PM
Wow, the resemblance is remarkable. I am sure they will remember. Childhood is always blissful in hindsight. The things you worry about today they won't even remember later.
Posted by: bunnybear | July 14, 2009 at 06:37 PM
Mine had a slide.
Posted by: Lady in a Smalltown | July 14, 2009 at 08:05 PM
I am such a water baby and I really hope our baby is too. Your recollections sound exactly like mine and made me feel young again. Not that we're so old... and yeah, I too said, by god but those kids look like you!
Posted by: cate | July 14, 2009 at 08:14 PM
So, I always thought that your childhood pictures looked just like Noah. But holy crap, you look just like Ezra in that picture!
Posted by: Rebecca | July 14, 2009 at 08:37 PM
They will! They will absolutely remember the pool. Those sorts of memories stay with you, even under the surface...I remember pool times, sprinkler times...sunshine bouncing off of water droplets..trying to make a makeshift slide...yeah. They won't lose these memories- though they might have them buried during teenage angsty times. But they'll find them again :)
Posted by: Liana | July 14, 2009 at 08:40 PM
Dude--is Ez, like, for realzies crawling? or a trick of the camera?
Posted by: megs | July 14, 2009 at 09:11 PM
I remember the tadpoles in our kiddie pool swimming in it more than we did.
But still, it was good times. Love the pictures!
Posted by: Sprite's Keeper | July 14, 2009 at 09:50 PM
Beautifully written, Amy. Who knew a blog post about a kiddie pool would make me cry?
Posted by: nonsoccermom | July 14, 2009 at 10:34 PM
Your kids look SO much like you!! When I first saw the picture of you as a child I thought it was Noah - and, I'm sorry to say, I thought he needed a haircut. Then I saw the actual pictures of your handsome little devils and realized how very wrong I was
Posted by: coffeejitters (Judy Haley) | July 14, 2009 at 11:10 PM
OMG Noah looks just like you! Too, too awesome!
Posted by: Kathy | July 15, 2009 at 01:46 AM
Love the photos and the memories. Way to make me cry, Amalah!
Posted by: MariaV | July 15, 2009 at 03:56 AM
Like all the others have said, your boys look so much like you. They'll remember the pool and if they don't, they'll have all this to remember you by. I think that is so special.
Posted by: Caitlin | July 15, 2009 at 05:39 AM
Are you sure that first one isn't Noah in a wig? FOR REAL. You guys are twins.
I'm SURE they will remember the pool. Don't we all?
Posted by: Kyla | July 15, 2009 at 09:19 AM
Dang girl genetically speaking the apple does not fall far from the tree, eh?!
Also, I TOTALLY HAD THAT POOL too?! We are like long lost sistas. LOL.
I agree with what you wrote though - I have had similar summer time thoughts for my kiddos!
Posted by: Christin | July 15, 2009 at 09:39 AM
Wow! You and Noah look SO much alike.
Posted by: Kristen | July 15, 2009 at 09:57 AM
Awesome. I love this.
Posted by: Sue @ My Party of 6 | July 15, 2009 at 10:05 AM
I remember more the wading pool in the park near my house - it was the 1950s and totally safe for little girls to go wandering a mile away and immerse themselves in the delicious cool water with the chlorine smell. It had a spraying fountain in the middle, and if you stayed too late bats would come out of the woods and tangle up in your hair and you would forever have bat-infested hair and maybe rabies. So much easier to control children before they had access to knowledge on the internet!
But they'll remember. And you'll remember more of your own childhood as you accompany them through their own.
Posted by: Judy | July 15, 2009 at 10:32 AM
Whoa. You & Noah could be twins. Astounding! Loved the post about the pool. I hope mine remember it too.
Posted by: alayna | July 15, 2009 at 10:41 AM
Sure fire way to get them to remember the pool - put the slide from the climber in the background next time! We have a similar climber and did that last summer - I know so ghetto - but the boys had a blast sliding down it in to our kiddie pool. Just make sure you have enough grass at the other end of the pool - sometimes they fly right out of the pool! Have fun!
Posted by: Kim Root | July 15, 2009 at 10:53 AM
Man, you hit this part spot on: "but the disappointment was always tempered by the feeling of a dry towel, fresh clothes, the slow feeling of warmth returning."
And I concur - Noah is the spitting image of you from that childhood picture!
Posted by: Julie | July 15, 2009 at 10:56 AM
Your kids look just like you! Noah is the spitting image but I think Ezra is looking just like momma too. Super Duper Cute!
I love this post and I think it resonates for so many of us! ;)
Posted by: Michelle | July 15, 2009 at 11:10 AM
No child ever forgets the pool. :-)
Also: I'm jealous of your Raggedy Ann Pool. That is straight-up awesome.
Another also: Ezra's hair is kick-ass in that picture. And Noah looks so much like you!
Posted by: M. Butterfly | July 15, 2009 at 11:40 AM
Posted by: lizardek | July 15, 2009 at 11:52 AM
We should all remember the simple things of our own warm, happy childhood memories, and then try to recreate them instead of worrying about repeating the mistakes our parents made.
Thank you for this reminder.
Posted by: Denise | July 15, 2009 at 12:07 PM
It's funny how your own childhood can come rushing back at you in those tiny little moments. My niece was wailing about having a Band Aid removed the other day and it reminded me of the full Nelson my mom would have to wrestle me into in order to remove my Band Aids.
Posted by: Parsing Nonsense | July 15, 2009 at 12:11 PM
I never use our baby pool because the options always seem to be:
1) leave the water in and invite mosquitos to breed;
2) dump the water and create a daily mud bog, plus it seems like then the deflated plastic gets all moldy.
Is there some better way? How do you handle it?
Posted by: Kate | July 15, 2009 at 12:47 PM
I also had that orange shopping cart and those woven lawn chairs that clicked to adjust! My brother and I would put both ends all the way up and drape a towel over the top to create a little fort. In which we would put our hands into bags of Lays and get the chips all soggy. Summer memories are the best!!! Thanks for a fantastic post, Amy!! .-)
Posted by: stacy | July 15, 2009 at 01:32 PM
by the way, don't those hard pools seem better than the inflatable ones? They had built-in shelves to sit on! And sometimes little slides too. Though we admitted the little built-in slide was lame and dragged the pool to be in front of the big slide...
Posted by: stacy | July 15, 2009 at 01:35 PM
What a beautiful post. I am sure they will remember the pool.
Posted by: Kristin | July 15, 2009 at 01:41 PM
Are you sure that first picture is not Noah in a girl's bathing suit? Because it sure does look like it.
And of course they will remember the pool.
Posted by: Courtney | July 15, 2009 at 02:16 PM
You know, I read so many blogs and I can say without a single doubt that I most look forward to reading yours everyday. When I see you have a new post, I'm happy because I know it will be good. Thank you for that.
Keep up the good work,
Posted by: Jennifer txmomof3 | July 15, 2009 at 02:51 PM
I spent most of my summer-life in the pool. I wish I still could, ya know?
Posted by: Danielle-lee | July 15, 2009 at 03:30 PM
I remember my plastic pool as a kid--it was turtle-themed and green.
I have a blow-up princess one for my daughter now, but wish they still made those hard plastic ones.
Posted by: Brian | July 16, 2009 at 10:58 AM
What a cool idea....yoga mats to hold the play table stable....I wished I'd thought of that.
Posted by: Shannon | July 16, 2009 at 04:57 PM
You're right. Some of those terrible moments seemed so important at the time, but now they've all but faded away. But certain flashes--the taste of raspberry shortcake for me--are seared in there forever. I hope my kids have the same feelings. We have three wading pools (my FIL accidentally bought three, thinking he was just getting one!) and spend many happy summer weekends there. I hope they remember that.
Posted by: Kendra | July 17, 2009 at 01:06 PM