Sunday, June 26, 2011

Float Night

So last Saturday night started the summer tradition of "float" night at our neighborhood pool. No, this does not refer to finding a floater in the pool, something that is likely to shut the pool down for the night. Rather, our float night draws everyone to the pool, that special night once a week when the ban on pool flotation devices is lifted and the kids can pile into the pool in a sea of plastic and neon colors. I really need to take a photo of this to capture the event, but imagine giant ducks, whales, and the more boring blow-up beds bobbing amongst a froth of arms, legs, and writhe childish bodies, clambering to pile on to these floats as dusk settles in the air.

You'd think this would be the kids' favorite night, and it is, but really I think the adults look forward to it more. Without much prior planning, we all arrive at the pool, octopuses strapped to the top of the car, and drag our coolers of beer, bbq chicken, and various salads up to the picnic area, ready to settle in for a long night of chatting, knowing that we won't be bothered by the kids (at least those 6+ in age) for several hours in a row. A good time to catch up on the busy week we had and talk about our plans for the rest of the summer. It feels, at least to me, that the parents of the rising third graders (egad) have co-opted float night, taking the last row of picnic benches hostage, but maybe every other group feels the same way about their own set of friends.

So last night was one of our more mellow float nights. Many of the group were off stuffing themselves with pasta to prepare for this morning's sprint triathlon, while the rest of us honored their quest by drinking summer ales, wine, and talking about how crazy they all are. (You go girls). I'm sure as the summer wears on, the float nights will pick up speed, until we reach that epic float night -- when the night never seems to end, it gets so dark that you can't find your wet towels or your kids, and the children collapse in a pile on the pool chairs, having given up begging their parents to go home. Inevitably, at least one parent (you know who you are) will decide after one-too many beers that diving off the boards is a good idea, and the teenage lifeguards will look on in horror as belly flops and volcanic cannon balls ensue.

Last night wasn't it, but you could feel the buzz in the air, the anticipation of many summer nights at the pool to come. And when that endless float night arrives, we will know it, and it will be epic.