It’s going to be especially hard to say good-bye to our old friend when the Erb Park Pool closes this weekend, because it has been especially good to us this year.
Nearly every evening we have headed across the street for a little post-dinner swim and, nearly every evening we have walked home so very grateful for the experience.
Thanks to that reliable public pool, we got to see two little boys, who started the summer afraid to get any water on their face at all, swim like happy, floppy, friendly fish. In fact, by August they were hurling themselves into the big pool with such abandon we admonished them in ways that thrilled us.
“You have to wait until you know I’m looking before you try to dive in,” I said repeatedly, while privately marveling at the cool excitement of such tremendous growth.
Like all public parks, Erb has been our extra nanny this summer, encouraging the boys to play nicely with others, to follow rules, to wait their turn, to spend glorious hours in the fleeting summer sun. She’s a stern taskmaster too. When those lifeguards blow their whistles to announce the end of the day, the little boys obediently climb out and head home, happy, hungry for their ice cream nightcap and exhausted.
Some nights, we had the whole pool to ourselves, which gave the little guys plenty of opportunity to get to know a great group of guards. They high fived them as they whipped down the slide, warned them to walk and encouraged them all summer long.
Last night was one of those empty pool nights and we lingered a little longer than we normally do. In fact, we saw an owl take off from a tall pine tree on our walk home.
We lost a whole week to a mean Covid quarantine, so we’re going to try to make up some time this weekend, if the weather cooperates.
In the meantime, from this house that will spend the next 10 months looking forlornly over at the empty craters that housed such happiness and growth, thank you to the Erb Park pool and its staff for a heck of a summer!