We didn’t have a pool growing up, but we did have a sprinkler. As an adult, it’s funny to think back to how much fun a kid can have running back and forth through fine streams of water. Most days now, when I walk past a sprinkler, I find myself feeling slightly annoyed that it wasn’t set up in a way to prevent passerbys from having to pretend they’re in a video game, trying not to be touched by the death inducing water spurts. Every now and then on a particularly hot day, when I have no where to be, I walk right past and enjoy the brief spray, thinking back to when I begged for some sprinkler time.
As kids, we also had ample plastic sheeting and a hill. We would make the most excellent downhill slip ‘n slides – far superior to the ones sold in the store. We became quite skilled at building them. A giant water bill, a mud puddle at the bottom of the hill, and a long strip of dead grass where we forgot to take up the plastic for a day or two, and the adults would impose slip ‘n slide ban for the rest of the summer. The work of building and disassembling the mini water park on adult terms taught us to parcel out the experience, accepting it as a treat, and made it all the more enjoyable… except when you’d slide off the end, getting grass burn from chin to ankles and be sprinkled with grass clippings for the rest of the day. It was part of the experience.