Jackie Gingrich Cushman

 It’s summer – the kids are out of school and I am losing my mind.  The one spot that is sure to please parents and children alike is the swimming pool.  The children can play and wear themselves out while the parents can lie in the hot sun and relax.

As a parent, one of the joys of having a child is being able to relive a bit of your childhood yourself. If you’re lucky, you may even be able to improve on it a bit. 

When I was growing up, I loved to swim.  We normally swam at the college pool where my father was a professor.  We would swim for hours, exhausting ourselves.  After swimming, we would go the A&P and get a Morton’s chocolate ice cream pie.  My recollection is that I ate the entire pie myself (possibly explaining the fact that I also wore a shirt over my swimsuit when I swam).  More than likely, I shared it with the rest of the family.

As a mother of two elementary school children, I have come to appreciate the finer things associated with the swimming pool -- water and exhaustion. Three years ago, I added something new -- flips (front and back) from the diving board. As a child, I never had the courage to do a flip.  But I have to say, they are quite fun.  

With my newfound love for the diving board, I am constantly looking for them.  I have noticed that their numbers are declining.  Now this is not a scientific sample, but a result of looking out for diving boards wherever I go.

We Americans are not the only ones with a decline in the number of diving boards. In a February 3, 2008 article in the Telegraph titled “Government Criticised over Diving Board Plunge,” Gareth Davies notes that “Up to 3,000 campaigners took to the streets in Fylde on Saturday in a mass protest to save two swimming pools, in Kirkham and in St Anne's, which are earmarked for closure.” 

This protest came after a report by The Daily Telegraph regarding the current status of diving boards.  “In England, the number of public diving facilities, according to the GBDF (Great Britain Diving Federation), has plummeted from 296 to 66 since 1977, a net loss of 78 per cent.”


Jackie Gingrich Cushman

Jackie Gingrich Cushman is a speaker, syndicated columnist, socialpreneur, and author of "The Essential American: 25 Documents and Speeches Every American Should Own," and co-author of “The 5 Principles for a Successful Life: From Our Family to Yours”.