As a “new” parent (at what point do I stop calling myself a “new” parent anyway!?), I now understand what I’ve heard families talk about all these years—time really does fly.

With another summer already upon us, I’m making a personal effort to slow down and be as present as possible when I’m spending time with my daughter (I know, I know, we’re all trying, all the time!). I find it so much easier to do this when the weather is beautiful and we’re outside together as a family.

This past weekend, we met up with a few friends at the JCC pool and I could not…stop…smiling. We snacked, we splashed, we socialized—and most importantly, we all took time out of our busy schedules to relax and enjoy the simple pleasures of life: sunshine, good friends, and happily splashing babies. Plus, being at the pool and keeping an eye on my kiddo meant I didn’t even have the desire to pull out my cell phone (…ok, I admit, I snapped a few cute pics). So, I was joyfully and willingly forced to be completely in the moment, soaking in the sun and every adorable facial expression.

If you need a little extra encouragement to slow down and get out of the house this summer, look no further. The J offers a variety of fun parent/tot classes and programs—encouraging you to have that special one-on-one time with your little one. Poolside Playdates happen every Friday from 10:00 am–11:30 am at the J baby pool. We set out snacks and invite community members with kids ages three and under to come play and mingle. It’s a super-easy way to arrange a playdate with friends or to meet new people. Registration is simple, you can even sign up the morning of. 

Childhood, and the rest of life, really does speed by. I hope you’ll take the opportunity to slow time down, even if it’s just for a little bit, and join me for some fun in the sun this summer.

“I learned about Poolside Playdates through some Mom friends right when we moved to Denver in summer of 2015. It was such a wonderful way to meet other parents with similarly aged kids. My son who was barely two at the time loved splashing in the shallow baby pool with other kids (and I loved that the pool was small enough where I felt he was safely contained). Now that I have two little ones, I can’t wait to take them both back to Poolside Playdates! My youngest hasn’t had too much pool time yet, so this will be a great way to get him exposed to the water. Looking forward to having a fun activity for summer Fridays!” – Nicole Levine, Mom to Sam (3.5 years) and Max (14 months)

Rachel Baum, Early Childhood Engagement Program Manager and mama to Maya (13 months)