The colors and types of beach towels tell some great stories.
They look innocent enough stacked in the hall closet, but you only need to attempt to pull one from the towering stack to relive childhood days at the pool and the college weekends at the beach. From the custom made beach towels that were a part of the state high school swim meet traditions to the promotional beach towels that your husband would bring back from trade shows, the mismatched and varied types of beach towels are a treasure. Everyone in the family has a favorite, and whether you are heading for a weekend at the lake cabin or a trip to the water park the best towels always get claimed first.
When the kids were little you set the various sizes and types of beach towels on the concrete along the long west end of the pool and jumped in with the kids. Lots of silly games. You especially liked to watch the girls and their friends try the hair flip in an attempt to look like George Washington or one of the other powdered wigged presidents. You never had long enough hair to have much success at this game, but the giggling girls could play it forever.
When they tired of the shallow water play, they also went off the boards a lot. One low board and one high board. Your older daughter like the high board, but your younger daughter spent most of her time on the low board. Her low dive back bend into a back dive was one of the younger daughter’s best moves.
As the mother of the young swimmer and divers you remember spending many hours wrapped in one of the warmer types of beach towels as the girls and their friends tried to challenge each other into more adventurous dives. Many of the challenges often sounded like good ideas, but the good idea seemed to lose some of its strength as a too scared young diver had to let go of the two round poles toward the end of the board. Some kids who ran with reckless abandon and leapt off the end, but there was always the skinny child whose feet became so heavy as soon as she let go of the handrail that she could not lift them enough times to make her way to the end. Just as scary, these timid divers often backstepped away from the pool and began the slow descend of the ladder. Not quite enough courage to jump off that high board. Timid divers were likely the real reason for the no one on the ladder rule until the person before you has jumped in.
Today most pools don?t even have high diving boards, but you remember this is where much of your pool time was spent. At the few pools where there are still diving boards, the punishment for backing off the high dive is a forced time out. Turns out, the diving board taught some valuable rules. Finish what you start or suffer the consequences. Or don?t do anything that you are not comfortable with.
If only we could all have that friend who would say, ?Come on, give it a try. I will let you sneak back down if you are too scared.? That friend who gives you the chance to climb to the top, enjoy the view, but save the leap of faith for another day.
The pool stories, however, are only part of the memories rekindled by that stack of towering beach towels in the closet. If you could, you would sit all day and relive the story of every towel in that stack. Today, however, you have to grab six towels, head for the car, and meet the college kids at the beach. With a few days of school, the crowd has found a fun rental close to the water and they have invited you along for the trip. You know that the real reason you got the invite is because you will help cook and clean. You do not mind, however, you know you will return from the trip with more stories, more sun, and, if you are lucky, maybe another towel or two!
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