From Tracie: Swimming Rules

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Swimming Rules

You must get out of the pool if it rains.

This rule was pounded into my mind when I was little, right after "You must wait 30 minutes after you eat to swim," and before "Wear a t-shirt to cover up that two piece."

My mom would not move on the rain rule.

I tried telling her that I was already wet, so a few rain drops would not make any difference. She did not buy it. It was not the rain that worried her, it was the lightening that often accompanies afternoon storms in Florida.

I do remember one rainy afternoon swim clearly. My friend Amber and I went to her cousin's house. All the adults were busy in the kitchen cooking, and we were going to swim. It was already late afternoon, and her cousin's room was nearly dark when we changed into our suites, because she had replaced all her light-bulbs with black lights.

We swam, and jumped, and splashed, and underwater somersaulted. Then the rain started. With no thunder, and no lightening, and most importantly no parents outside, we stayed in the pool.

I floated on my back, watching the sun sink and the sky turn a brilliant shade of pink behind the clouds. Feeling the rain gently falling on my body. Cool drops on a hot day. It was glorious.

Now that I am the mom, I hear those words sing-songing out of my mouth.
"You have to wait 30 minutes!"
"Feet first, first time!"
"Is that rain? Time to get out of the pool!"

But occasionally, when there is no thunder or lightening, I will stay in the pool for just a few extra minutes.

Because I know the secret all moms try to hide from their kids.

There is nothing better than floating on the water, and feeling the gentle rain fall. Especially on a hot, summer day.

Write On Edge

Red Writing Hood Prompt: Rain


  1. Beautiful story. I'm a child of the South and I, too, swam in the rain. And yes, being a mom, I can hear my own mother's words coming out of my own mouth telling my daughter to wait 30 minutes after eating! :) I also make her walk 2 laps around the pool after I put sunscreen on her so it has time to soak in. HA!

    -Kirsten @ One Tough Mother

  2. That's such a wonderful memory. I've never been swimming in the rain but I'm sure I'd love it. I grew up in Philadelphia where the humidity is oppressive all summer long save for those few beautiful moments of summer rainstorms when the humidity breaks and the pressure in the air lessens and for that brief moment there is relief.

  3. I let my kids break the 30 minute rule, but the place we swim every summer is adamant about the rain rule. They are no fun at all. I love the imagery of this post.

  4. I love the memories this evokes. Beautiful.

  5. Tracie, thank you for sharing. Hugs.

  6. I love to swim in the rain. Sweet and soggy memories of swim team days and feeling the shower on our capped heads. But the first flash of lightening and it was, "Out of the water and to the locker room, hut, hut, hut!" Well done. Visiting from WOE.

  7. I love this, Tracie. It's so perfectly wrapped up, too. That last part rocks. :> And I can see you, a little girl, sneaking in that swim. Love.

  8. This brings back memories of my childhood and my girls. I am sure DD1 has said the same thing to my grandson when he is swimming.

  9. So sweet. I grew up in FL and we were always dragged out of the pool when the rain started. I think I probably stole or moment or two--and it really is a bit magical.

    Stopping by from Write on Edge.

  10. Lovely story. I have to admit, I was waiting for a tragic memory that would explain the rule.

  11. I always pushed the "But I'm already wet!", but lightning is lightning, eh?! Loved reading your piece!

  12. This just made me smile. From the overlooked wisdom to the full-circle admission of a simple pleasure. Lovely bit of memoir.