Thursday, July 30, 2009

Freezer Pops

When I was a kid, I used to go swimming with my friends at the city pool. Well, actually it was the country club, but in our small town this meant little. It was just a rectangular concrete pool with two diving boards and a never ending expanse of concrete all around where we could spread our towels and lay on our stomachs in the hot sun (with (gasp!) no sunscreen).

At our house, freezer pops were not allowed. Filled with sugar and a big fat zero for nutrition, my mother kept us as far away from those things as possible. Frozen sugar-water, kool-aid in a tube, "ew" she would say. Of course, this made the acclaimed freezer pop even more desirable. Oh, that clear tube of sugary juiciness seemed to be the epitomy of summertime treats just out of reach from my slippery childhood fingers.

Even though we had a nice in-ground pool at home, it was a special treat to get to go to town and swim at the country club without my parents. The pool was surrounded by a rusty silver chain link fence, and the only entrance was through the mildewy bathrooms. At the other side of the bathrooms the only way to get to the pool was through a 2-inch swirling puddle of water with sloped sides. This mini-pool was (I suspect) to clean our dirty feet before we got to the pool, but it disgusted me beyond belief. Painted an offensive shade of turquoise, the water was always speckled with dead bugs from the night before, and quick dip of my toe in the corner would confirm its sub-zero temperature. I tried with all my strength to straddle the puddle while clutching my towel and "pool money", trying to stay on the dry sloped sides with my dirty feet. I wasn't the only kid who tried this, and unfortunately failed miserably.

The best part of going to the country club pool was, undoubtedly, "adult swim." Every hour, the lifeguard blew her whistle and announced "adult swim." This was a time when the moms could take a dip or the elderly could get in a few laps. I suspect, though, that "adult time" was just a marketing ploy to get the kids to spend their pocket money. During adult time, the lifeguard opened the candy counter. Behind the splintery board of a divider, there was a deep freezer filled with sticky frozen summertime goodness. Orange push-ups, ice cream sandwiches, and an entire rainbow of freezer pops. Grape, please. We would hand over our quarters and gather around the sides of the pool, splashing our feet at the grown-ups until the lifeguard closed up once again and climbed her lifeguard chair.

These days, I allow my kids an occasional freezer pop. I've even been known to have one myself here and there. uh, sorry, mom.

1 comment:

  1. I just want to add - today my mom reminded me that I did, however, survive childhood without a single cavity. Kudos, mom.


I'd love to hear your thoughts!