As a kid, going to the pool, our art challenge prompt for today, was a mixed experience for me. I was terribly shy about my chubby little body and didn’t like having to don only swim trunks for the occasion. I lacked the trim athleticism of most of the other kids at the time and it made me feel a bit out of place. But, once I was in the pool, submersed in water up to my neck, I felt a bit more comfortable and ended up enjoying myself. While the other kids held swimming racing and kept climbing out to dive in again, I happily bobbed along by myself in my own little quiet corner of the pool. With a pair of swim goggles, I could go underwater to explore, but there wasn’t ever much to see, save a bunch of legs or the occasional drain. Mostly, I just liked to take the moment to dream and imagine things I might do once I got back home again. This kept me from getting too terribly bored for a time, but I was really ready to go the moment my mother returned to pick me up again.

In truth, being in a pool has never really made sense to me. There’s no sand, no sound of the ocean, or ducks swimming by on a lake. It’s really just about getting wet and bathing with a crowd of other people. I’m not morally opposed to the notion, but I’ve never been able to understand what’s so fun about it. I’ve always thought of bathing as a relatively private act, so this is probably why I ended up finding a spot in the pool to be by myself. I’m not a fan of public toilets either, for roughly the same reasons. In reality, I don’t like crowds in general so I think I was destined to never really enjoy public pools. Combined with the sharp smell of chlorine that burned my nose each time, I often just found myself wishing I weren’t trapped in a big wet box of strangers. I wanted to be back home where I had a thousand options of fun things to do next. My attention span, as it turns out, was equally a drawback to my enjoyment.

When I got older, I would end up being invited to pool parties, which are just regular parties hosted by someone who happens to have a pool in their backyard. These were a blast, because I could enjoy them poolside with a glass of wine. The pool part was always optional, and most of the crowd simply stayed at the edges chatting while sipping their drinks. And I could do my usual version of mingling which involves finding just one other person and having a lovely private conversation off to the side about life and other important things. But like most things in my childhood, even when I didn’t truly enjoy them, they come with a host of fond memories. Moments that were like a rite of passage, a thing all kids did on that journey to becoming an adult where you finally got to make your own decisions. So, you even if you never find me splashing about in a pool these days, I still have to admit that when I look back, I’m glad I had the experience of swimming with friends.

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About the Doodlewash

M. Graham: Turqouise; Da Vinci Paint Co.: Nickel Azo Yellow, Opus (Vivid Pink), Cobalt Turquoise, and Cobalt Blue. Lamy Al-Star Safari Fountain Pen with sepia ink in an A5 Hahnemühle Watercolour Book. Want to purchase a print of this doodlewash? Send me a note with a link to this post, and I’ll add it to my shop!
 Day 24 - Swimming With Friends Rubber Duck Pool - #doodlewashJune2018 Doodlewash


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31 thoughts on “Swimming With Friends

  1. Your rubber ducky is adorable! I do admire your ability to find something good from every experience. I try to do that but must admit that my dislike of pools has been a difficult one to overcome. I finally realized that the only reason I was ever swimming was because other people thought I should enjoy it. I do enjoy the memories now – because I know I’ll never have to do it again, lol.

    1. Thanks, Sandra! 😃💕That’s actually SO true!! I felt like I had to enjoy it because everyone else seemed to think it was so fun. But in reality… give me a self-flushing ocean any day of the week! lol 😉

  2. “There’s no sand, no sound of the ocean, or ducks swimming by on a lake. It’s really just about getting wet and bathing with a crowd of other people. I’m not morally opposed to the notion, but I’ve never been able to understand what’s so fun about it.”

    This is as good as anything Mark Twain wrote. What a delight!

  3. Aww, cute duck, even if he looks a little fed up – maybe he feels the same way about pool parties, which is unfortunate for him! I only ever went to a pool once or twice recreationally as a kid; they most certainly did not go swimmingly. At school, everyone seemed to love and look forward to lessons, but I would dread it for all the reasons you mention – the best bit for me was the coach ride back, it done for another two weeks! In later years I was, silly me, ‘forgetting’ my swimming gear quite often. Never again! 😛

    1. Thanks, Jacob! 😃💕 Yeah, the duck shares our reservations! lol I often feel like I’m missing a gene of some kind that is supposed to make me think the pool thing is incredible. It’s so good to know I’m not alone! But those later years… those sound rather more interesting and filled with fun stories. 😉

  4. I think many of us have felt this way…. Thanks for keeping it real…. And keeping it beautiful with your art… And I love to find one person to have a deep meaningful conversation with too at a party. 🙂 <3

  5. I absolutely love this painting – the subject and the colors! I’ve been swimming since I was a child, when we would visit the large public pool in the park. These days, I have my own pool and jacuzzi in-ground in the backyard. It was tons of fun for the whole family when the kids were home. I love to swim and do laps daily during the summer.

  6. I grew up swimming in lakes. My parents told me I was like a hippopotamus when I would find a place to sit submerged with just my nose and eyes above the water line. If it was under a weeping willow, all the better for day dreaming.

  7. Love the rubber duck. So sweet. The color of the water is such a pretty, bright shade of turquoise. I really like the waves you created too. I agree, pools were never comfortable for me either. I was lucky to be born and raised near a bay so a lot of my youth was enjoyed on beaches.

    1. hehe! That’s so sweet of you to say, Miste! 😃💕 I often feel like I’m lagging several yards behind actual productive people. I get so distracted with new things to try and shiny objects in general! lol But I usually manage to keep everything swimming along! 😉

  8. Your Doodlewash looks so refreshing for a hot summer day!We were lucky enough to have an above-ground pool for quite a few years when I was a teenager, and my 4 siblings and I just about wore it out! However, I never felt comfortable wearing a bathing suit in front of anyone besides my siblings and now my hubby and kids. Now I’m all for sipping and quiet conversation, and maybe being festive with a paper umbrella in my drink 🍹.

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