If you haven't any charity in your heart, you have the worst kind of heart trouble. ~Bob Hope

Monday, August 1, 2011

_ool. You know what is missing? Me!

Written 7/27/11 but not finished...

Just got back from my first trip to the revamped Kettering Rec Center. I didn't expect that I would be back this early. I was fully intending to linger my way into my husband cooking dinner or if I was really lucky deciding that we should just go out.

Before I get into my thoughts, I feel like I should qualify things. I am a loooooooooooooongtime patron of the rec pool. I remember when all there was, was the pool. I remember when Water Raves opened. I enjoyed many, many days there with my daughter when she would still be seen in public with me.

My daughter went there right after it opened. Her review was a scathing panning of the new setup, notably the decision to remove the playground and sand area. She hasn't been back since. Come to think of it, that means her friends haven't either. Not surprisingly, Teen night was canceled due to lack of interest. I shrugged off her review as a malcontent teenager syndrome. Now that I've been I'd be pretty pissed off too if I were her.

My daughter's opinion aside, I also had heard from another parent that she didn't like it. It was nerve-wracking but she also said that she was a bit of a helicopter parent, so it might have just been her.

If I never set foot in that place again it would suit me just fine. I should have known something was amiss when I pulled and actually found a parking spot straight away, especially at nearly one o'clock!

It was just me and the boy. We paid and went in. I was not prepared for the shock of it. Nor was a prepared to not be able to find a decent place to sit. Gone is the hill. Gone is the area around the lower pool. Gone is the sand, replaced by a concrete seating area that didn't really replace the former spaces.

The playground has been replaced by a "splash" pad. For money, and coincidentally it was, I would have rather seen them develop a sprayground at Wenzler or Irelan or one of centrally located parks. It has a weird aquatic, nautical theme and it's not nearly big enough for the volume of kids that are there. It's also not very toddler friendly. Even with a parent. Mostly it seems that a lot of sprayers are aimed in such a way that they nail a small kid...or even my kid. He wasn't impressed. Surprising to me, considering that he spends most of his days asking to go to the nearby sprayground in Oakwood.

The one of the more enduring things about the old set up was the graduated depth pool. It was big enough that folks could have fun and not be on top of each other but small enough that you could manage your children and still enjoy yourself. One end has been replaced with a vortex which is a mechanical re-creation of the whirlpool my brothers and I would spend inordinate amounts of time creating and maintaining. It would probably be fun if people weren't packed into like sardines in oil.
The other end is now the splash area for the two new slides. And smack in the middle is the behemoth creation with slides and a giant dumping bucket and no clear sight lines for parents.

It is extremely difficult to maneuver around now. This is a combination of the people sometimes three to six rows deep who come to the pool merely to beach themselves at the edge from open to close and the swarms of motherless children. Seriously folks, if you only want that much water to cultivate your skin cancer in go buy a slip n' slide with a splash pool. Oh and don't give me or my kid a dirty look when we accidentally splash you trying not to step on your fat ass. If you want to do us all a favor, go retrieve your kids and teach them some manners!

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