Helen got a birthday present this year that should be both useful and FUN - an inflatable pool.
Brian, with his former swimmer lungs, got the enviable task of blowing it up. Here it is, early in the morning, before it went to a permanent resting place in the backyard:
And here's Helen, testing the water from the hose (not nearly as cold as I thought it would be):
Helen spent the rest of the afternoon racing around the yard to build up some speed before falling headlong into the pool. It wasn't a jump so much as a STOP, THEN FALL FORWARD ON YOUR FACE.
Later in the afternoon, I had to put the camera away because she tried a new trick. Sitting in the pool, she'd fling herself backwards (fully immersed in the water), then flip over on her tummy and pop up on all fours. Her face dripping with water, she'd laugh hysterically and then do it all over again. She did this about 15 times in a row. Her mother was FREAKING OUT and HOVERING, picturing that one time she wouldn't be able to get her head back above the water, but she managed it without my help. Honestly, it was inspiring to watch her have that much fun. Kids absolutely live for pools in the summer, don't they?