Tonight’s Family Fun Night was at the Haines Pool.

Let me just make one thing VERY clear.  I have a great family. Margaret, the mother-in-law was there to take care of the 3 month old at the water’s edge while Holly was in the water with the two older boys: they were having a great time! 

Not only were they having fun but Mark Daniel (5.5) can swim quite well for a pre-kindergarten kid.  He can do a very quick dog-paddle and also a sort of energy saving back stroke–without the wind-milling arms.  He relaxes and fills his chest with air and can go quite a ways.

Luke is quite a good swimmer too, for a two year old.  He uses a float suit with little bumps all over it, but kicks really strong and makes effective use of his hands.  I know there’s a debate over whether the float suit is actually beneficial or harmful, but for my boys, it seems to work great.  The get confidence around the water and learn to kick and stroke with their arms and also get a degree of mobility they would otherwise not have gotten.  Luke uses the suit that used to be Mark’s. 

The other day, Holly put some flippers on Mark Daniel and he reacted just like you’d expect a person to react: walking like a duck to the edge of the water, kicking too far under water and getting the leg into a place where it’s tough to do a forward stroke, laughing at it all, and describing it in great detail how amazing the flippers were at making him go incredibly fast.

Of course the Juneau pool has a better temperature for the little ones, as they have two different sections of the pool separated by a wall: a wading pool that’s 91 degrees and a lap pool that’s 81 degrees (or there about).  Haines just has one pool for everyone to share so it’s at a moderate 82 degrees.  Luke is so small he really can’t go for very long in the Haines pool before his lips turn blue and he becomes a shivering little blond mass.

If you haven’t been swimming yet with your kids, then get out there and do it.  It’s a great way to have a Family Fun Night.