Wednesday, July 13, 2011

We Love Wednesday: The Lawn

I love my neighborhood. I mean, this Arlington stuff is fine and all, but I just really love my hood, which I refer to affectionately as the Glen. Kristen thinks that my neighborhood should have a CW show about it. I agree -- we're pretty dang cute. My brother argues that there isn't enough dramz for TV. Even though we may not be on Dawson's Creek level of drama (although there is a creek and it provides a lovely backdrop -- also, Lizzy lived across the creek and once got in trouble when she and her dog crossed it on a log), I think that if we combined every summer, we'd get enough drama for a show. Or it would just be a comedy -- more likely situation.

The cornerstone of the Glen is, without a doubt, Parklawn Pool, often lovingly called the Lawn. No pool will ever compare to the Lawn, and sometimes when I go to other pools, I feel like I'm cheating a little bit. Growing up, we'd have countdowns to Memorial Day, want to be the first person in the pool when it opened (that didn't last long), and waited for swim team to start. Everyone wanted to be a life guard (probably except me) and swim coach (yeah, that happened).

Yep, swim team was the best part of summer. I always was a little resentful that I was signed up for day camps because I wanted to be able to go to morning swim practice and then hang out at the pool all day everyday. Sleepaway camp was completely out of the question -- I needed to be there for swim meets every Saturday morning (that changed in high school, but that's a story for another day). I just knew that the Parklawn Piranhas would not be able to function without yet another 9-10 girl.

As we got older, the Lawn was backdrop to plenty of boy-girl drama, which could pretty easily be made into my future TV show. Now, all the new kiddies have more than surpassed our drama level. (A few years ago when I was coaching, I was driving two of my nine-year-old girls to a movie, and one of them was distressed because her boyfriend was eight and she was in love with a younger man. Multiply that by 8754313 now that those kids are 13.) Add in some bromances (David and Bryce) and a rival team (ugh, Longbranch), and I'd say that's pretty perfect for television.

Growing up, I thought that the 15-18s (the oldest age group, for all of those who aren't down with NVSL lingo) were the coolest people to walk the grounds of Parklawn's hallowed pool deck. They kind of were. Then I turned 15, and I realized that I was not instantly cooler and that I was still pretty awkward. But. With great age comes great responsibility: now that I was a 15-18, I was on tap to help lead cheers. I know way too many swim team cheers, and I'll probably have them memorized for my entire life. I'm sure that at some point in my lifetime, I will need to know the following cheer: "Give a yell, give a yell, give a big and central yell, and when we yell we yell like hell and this is what we yell! Alabam alabam alabam diego san diego hocus pocus triganocus rah rah Parklawn!" (those are the right sounds -- I could have been saying the wrong words since age five, but I'd rather not know at this point. Like, Google says that it's a "big substantial yell" -- say what?). And don't even get me started on the 15-18 girls relay clap -- getting to do that was one of the biggest accomplishments of my life. Best part about cheers: getting to stand on the diving board and yell with/at the kiddies. Same went for my year as Coach Stacey.

So, as Camp Week continues on, I'll leave you with one more Parklawn cheer, one that we're really proud of since it's semi-unique to us:

"Give me a P! (P!) Give me an A! (A!) Give me an R! (R!) Give me a K! (K!) Give me a L! (L!) Give me an A! (A!) Give me a W! (W!) Give me an N! (N!) What's that spell? (Parklawn!) What's that backwards? (Nwalkrap!)"

It's a silent N.

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