We visit an Olympic sized pool that has a real deep end, 12 feet. It even has diving boards, but they are always, always off limits, tilted at odd angles like uprooted trees, taunting the swimmers with their promise of supreme bounce maneuvers. My boy took diving lessons there for a week last summer, but my girl was too young then and this year they did not offer any.
Pools used to have diving boards! Diving boards are so fun, where have they gone?
Shorehaven still has a diving pool, it even has a 3 meter high dive that is deliciously, terrifyingly tempting. But my kids are not allowed up there until they are 11. Thanks a lot, Aunt Julie. It also has a low dive, and a regular one. Here are some kids on those boards.
Hey, I know those kids!
It seems like many of the really fun risks of childhood are going away. At my kids’ old school, I used to let them climb a tree outside of the gate, and I was always surprised to be the only one standing out there waving up at the branches. The kids were only allowed to wear sneakers to this school, (which was perfectly lovely in many other ways) even though they were Not. Allowed. To. Run. I’m serious.
I’m as safety conscious as the next mom – probably even more so – we are all about helmets and my kids can’t even imagine piling into the wayback of a country squire where the only thing buckled was your sandals, maybe. But I think kids need to have sanctioned places where they can court danger, or they’re just going to do it somewhere we can’t see.
I’ve only been to the emergency room of Children’s Hospital twice. The first time was horrific – she was fine, but my girl went down the slide of her little playhouse wearing nothing but a diaper and holding a tent pole… in her mouth. Yes, exactly what you imagine. No puncture – just a perfect, angry round bruise on the roof of her mouth and soft foods for a week.
I went on a safety tear after that accident, battened down the hatches and threw out everything that could hurt my little cubs. Two weeks later, my boy went to a friend's birthday party and broke his leg on some air. An inflatable bounce house, and no – nobody landed on him. Just the air. Six weeks in a cast from toe to hip. He was five.
This weekend, Autumn and I had dinner on the deck of a rooftop beach restaurant, and the kids finished first (shocking). My boy stood next to me gazing out at the ocean, and specifically at the seawall. He dreamily said: “I want to jump off of something so bad.”
Kids want to jump, and they will. If they had a diving board, they wouldn’t flip from the side of the pool! Now THAT scares me. I always wonder for a second if the splash I feel is chlorinated water or grey matter.
So is the problem that pools aren’t deep enough anymore for diving boards, or that diving boards are too dangerous so why bother with such a deep end? I would prefer the former, that pools are kept shallow to conserve water or something. Or maybe it's a California thing, we can't have such deep ends becuase it will put too much pressure on the tectonic plates and the resulting earthquake will send the lot of us careening out to sea. Do you still have diving boards in your backyard pools?
Wait, you have a backyard pool?
Can we come over?