By Joshua Benton
Blade Staff Writer
This is the first in an occasional series that looks at how people are savoring the pleasures of summer around the Toledo area.
A kiddie pool is a glorified puddle. Let’s be clear about that – it’s some cement, a foot of water, and a ton of chlorine.
It’s certainly not the Big Kid pool, and that’s the basic divide at Ravine Park, where summer frolicking started last week.
On Fridays, the East Toledo Family Center’s summer camp takes its kids, aged 3 to 13, to the pool for an afternoon of splishing and splashing. Among last Friday’s crew were three children happy to be getting wet: 5-year-old Adrianna Estrada and 4-year-olds Jacob Conine and Brent Lutz.
Time and again, they followed what looked like a ritual: walking briskly to about five feet away from the kiddie pool, asking anyone within earshot to “watch!,” then racing into the pool with a splash. Then they’d get up, climb out, and do it again.
Perhaps not the safest maneuver, but it certainly looked like they were having fun.
“I like diving,” Brent offered.
But the allure of the real diving going on at the Big Kid pool, separated from them only by a fence, some grass, and puberty, was not lost on these kids.
“I’m gonna go up on the high dive soon,” Jacob insisted.
“No way! He’s scared,” Adrianna insisted.
“I’m not scared,” Jacob replied.
“I am,” Adrianna admitted.
Their debate concluded, the trio continued their racing and jumping at the kiddie pool, while the Big Kids, almost an abstraction, soared off the high dive. (Some of them, rumor had it, were so old they had driven to the pool. On their own.)
At 10:03 this morning, the Earth’s axis wobbles a hair, and summer begins, according to the meteorologists. Much more importantly, these kids get one year closer to the Big Kid pool.