Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Off The Deep End

About a decade ago, Naval Air Station Cecil Field was home to fighter jets that would rip through the downtown skyline of Jacksonville. But in a cost cutting move, the Navy decided to close NAS Cecil Field and relocate the jets to Norfolk, Virginia in 1999. Since then, the vast space that the base used to occupy has become home to an eclectic mix of entrepreneurs and public ventures. While probably not as exciting as fighter jets, Cecil is home to some pretty cool stuff these days. I have skydived at Cecil Field and achieved two pistol qualifications on a gun range there. Cecil Commerce Center, as it is now known, is also home to aircraft maintenance depots, an equestrian center, a public fitness center, and most notably for us, a free indoor pool.
Last weekend we decided to break the monotony of home life with the twins by taking them swimming. It is still a bit too cold to hop in the neighborhood pool here, so we packed up and headed to Cecil. The trip there was ominous, as Micah exploded poop up his back and all over his clothes. We almost turned around and headed home defeated, but we instead snuck our stinky kid past the lifeguard at the front desk and into the locker room for a quick hose off before entering the pool.

Once we got in the pool, we learned that Micah very well might be part fish. He felt the warm pool water hit his legs and he instantly began laughing and thrashing, trying to break free of his parent's grip and swim on his own. According to her mother, Rachel was just like this as a child. Mal, on the other hand, seized up and turned stiff as a board upon entering the pool. She floated along in her parents arms as still as a statue for most of her time in the pool, just gazing at the other people there and wondering why they did not seem to be as tortured by the eminent dangers that swimming posed. I found it funny that I, the parent who did not know how to swim upon entering college, entered the pool with the panic stricken Mal, while my half-dolphin wife was yucking it up with Micah the sea mammal.

After about 20 minutes of swimming we dried the kids off and headed back home. That afternoon the twins slept for almost three hours, which is unprecedented as far as naps go. Micah had a blast in the pool, and Mal was in a good mood once she was safe on dry land again, so it was a win-win situation for us. So, Rachel and I are planning on making the pool trip a weekend ritual and head back again on Saturday. This coming weekend, in addition to all the other activities, Cecil Field will be hosting an RV expo. Pools, horses, and retirees in RV's: still not as exciting as fighter jets for most people, but Micah and Mal think Cecil is cool the way it is.


  1. trips to the pool are the best! After my son has his swimming lessons on Saturdays he takes a epic three hour nap, thats unheard of most days.

  2. Those pics are soo cute!! I cant wait to see those chubby babies again!

  3. Look at those bathing beauty cuties!!!

    Good think Micah finished his business BEFORE he got into the pool! I remember when my daughter, who shall remain nameless, the one who was the Olympic gold medal spitter-upper, took her first swim "lessons" at 7 months, and added to the pool now and then. Cleared out any area around us, that's for sure!

    Thanks always for the updates and pics - LOVE them, and you!!