at the poolBy Jody Kerzman

It’s opening day!

My little girls have had this day circled on the calendar for months.

Probably the greatest photo of 2015's pool trips

Probably the greatest photo of 2015’s pool trips

June 8 = opening day at Bismarck’s outdoor swimming pools!

We’ll be there every day.

I am not even kidding.

Every. Day.

The outdoor pools are our very favorite place to be in the summer. We discovered this last year, when, for the first time in my 17 years of being a mom, I bought season patches for Bismarck’s outdoor swimming pools. I was looking for something to keep my youngest kids, who were 8 and 5, entertained. I work from home so they’re home with me. All. The. Time. Summers get long and they get bored. I can work anytime, and, thanks to technology, I can also work anywhere, even poolside.

We figured we needed to make 22 trips to the pool to make the patches worth the money.

We went 36 times!

So, yeah. It was money well spent, and I was happy to spend it again this summer.

Here are five reasons (in no particular order) we’ll be spending our summer poolside at Bismarck’s three outdoor swimming pools:

  1. North Dakota winters are long. And cold. Even though I’ve lived in the Dakotas my entire life, I really don’t like winter,
    Taken on one of our 36 trips to the pool in 2015

    Taken on one of our 36 trips to the pool in 2015

    snow, or cold. I am a summer person. Poolside is my happy place. I consider our daily trips to the pool a little mini-vacation. We aren’t big vacation takers; my husband works road construction, so summer trips don’t really happen. We like to camp, but we rarely go very far away. And that’s ok. I’m actually kind of a homebody anyway, and really like sleeping in my own bed at night, especially after a long day at the pool.

  2. I am a firm believer that kids need to be outside playing as much as possible. There have been a lot of studies done in recent years about the benefits of playing outside. Experts say kids are happier, healthier, and sleep better when they get time to play outside. I’m no expert, but I have been a mom for 17 years, and I totally agree. The pool is a great place for my girls to use their imaginations, get some exercise, and just have fun. And you know what? When they’re sad, a trip to the pool always puts a smile on their little faces, and after an afternoon of swimming, there are no arguments about bedtime. I consider that a win.
  3. I hope our afternoons at the pool teach my girls confidence. I don’t spend every minute of our pool time in the water with my girls. I’d much rather read a book or finish some work than swim, but I make myself go in the water every trip, just to teach my girls it’s ok to be silly, even when you’re 40. It’s also about being ok with your body. I’d love to lose 30 pounds, but I’m not going to let that stop me from wearing a bathing suit and having fun with my kids. I want them to see me being ok with my 40-something-less-than-perfect-body. I want them to learn confidence while splashing and diving and playing mermaids.
  4. When I had my first baby I thought the people who said “it goes so fast” were off their rockers. I didn’t think we’d ever get through the sleepless nights, dirty diapers, and teething. 17 years later, I realize they are right. That baby I thought would never sleep all night is now getting ready for her senior year of high school. How the heck did that happen? I’m going to miss her like crazy when she leaves for college, but in the meantime, I’m going to enjoy every moment I get with her. The days she joins us at the pool are some of the very best days. Her little sisters love spending time with her, and so do I. I’m so thankful the pools can bring us all together, even if only for a few hours.  And, now that I know how fast the years really do go, I’ve vowed to spend more time with my kids. Because before you know it, the six-year-old will be packing for college and I’ll be left with no kids to take to the pool.
  5. Last summer we were at the pools so much, my girls were on a first name basis with all the lifeguards. There were
    Some of our favorite lifeguards

    Some of our favorite lifeguards

    days we were the only ones at the pool (cloudy days are the BEST pool days). We did a couple of sessions of swimming lessons, and most days came back after lunch to swim some more. I’m sure the lifeguards got tired of seeing us, but they were so professional and made such a great impression on my little girls. Their parents should be proud of them. This year my son will spend the summer lifeguarding at the Elks pool and I hope he can be a positive role model to the kids he sees everyday.

My list could continue for days, but I need to wrap this up….there are two little girls dressed in swimsuits, beach towels and goggles in hand, waiting for me to take them to the pool.

So, if you need me this summer, you know where to find me.

Make sure you bring your suit.

Me relaxing at the pool - it's a tough job...

Me relaxing at the pool – it’s a tough job…

PS – what’s your favorite outdoor pool in Bismarck? The Wachter Wave Pool is our favorite! 

To learn more about Bismarck’s outdoor pools, click here – you’ll find everything you need to know, including locations, cost, and hours. Happy swimming!