We’re Going to the Pool….

“Do you have a busy day?” I asked my husband over the phone as I prepared lunches. Avocado sandwiches for 2/3 of the girls and I was still waiting for Adi’s lunch request-she’s in an “I hate everything phase.”

“Not too bad,” he replied. “Do you guys have a busy day?”

“We’re just going to the pool,” I responded. Silence. I could feel his eyes roll. I know he thinks I’m so lucky to have a job with summers off or even a job that technically ends at 3pm each day-and I am lucky. It’s a great job and an added bonus now as a mom is that I get to experience the “stay at home” life for a few weeks. “Going to the pool,” sounds like it would be a lovely and relaxing day…yet a day at the pool at this stage in my life is much busier than most days teaching.

First there is all of the prep. The lunches, the suiting up, the bags to pack with towels and clothes for all my humans for after swimming. Then there are snacks to pack. Snacks for post swimming lessons, post open swim, and then also for the drive home. Swimming makes my daughters very hungry-actually, summer seems to be making them hungry in general.

Then, once all the bags are packed, it’s time for sunscreen and hair braiding. The girls have taken to lining up. waiting their turn to get lathered up. First their faces, next they hold their arms out for their their upper bodies, and then finally their legs. Once everyone is covered, they each get a braid…to help avoid some of the post swim tangle of curls.

Then when the bags and children are loaded into the car, someone inevitable begins the bickering about what songs we will listen to. “Ugly Dolls soundtrack,” yells Adi. “Charlie Puth,” chimes in Wren. “Fire!” Rose demands referring to her new favorite, Girl on Fire by Alicia Keyes.

Car parked and the balancing act begins as we trek from the parking lot to the pool area. Everything usually goes fairly smoothly unless Rose hears a distant lawnmower or motorcycle, stopping her in her tracks. Then I need to readjust all of the stuff to pick up her fear stricken body for the rest of the walk.

Once we set up camp, we head in for the big girls to have their swim lessons. Inevitably, someone always needs to stop at the sauna like locker room bathrooms. Then, Rose and I get thirty glorious minutes of quiet, sitting on our blanket, under a tree chatting with friends until lessons are over. This time always goes by in the blink of an eye.

Then it’s time for lunch, until open swim begins. Today, everyone was petrified of bees, happily snacking on the flowers in the grass where we happened to be sitting for lunch. Adi once again refused to eat, choosing to frolic with friends until it was time to swim again.

Back to the pool we head, of course stopping at the bathrooms again. Everyone settles into the wading pool, Wren finding security in learning to swim underwater with the pool bottom brushing her tummy. Rose enjoys drinking water from the various water cups, some our own, some belonging to the other toddlers who find joy in pouring. Adi lasted about five minutes before proclaiming she was famished…typical.

We lasted about an hour, moving from the wading pool to the “big kid” pool. While in the big pool, the landscapers began cutting the grass and using their blowers. Cue the terror for poor Rose. Then Adi’s hunger won over and we decided it was time to go…after one last stop at the bathroom.

Once everyone was dressed in dry clothes, everyone except mom, we trekked back to the car. This time we had to stop to look at the water for baby ducks, despite the balancing of heavy bags and an exhausted two year old.

Back at the car, Adi began to cry. “Why is the car so hot? I’m so hungry. I’m tired.” This continued all the way home. Meanwhile, Rose fell asleep before exiting the parking lot. Wren patiently ignored the chaos coming from the middle row, contemplating why the sky doesn’t look blue while flying in an airplane. “Where does the blue come from?”

I joked with a friend today about seeing a post on social media about savoring summer. You only get 18 precious summers. “That many!” we both laughed.

All joking aside, I know these moments are a gift and I do treasure them. But I am working hard this summer!

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11 thoughts on “We’re Going to the Pool….

  1. Hysterical and 110% true! These days are a gift but they sure are exhausting! The images you paint here are crisp and full of real life which made me smile and appreciate all that it means to be a hard working mom! Thanks for sharing!

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  2. Oh my! Hahaha! 18 precious summers, indeed! I almost wrote about our trip to the marsh today – where we did NOT see any animals because we CANNOT be quiet and where everything was super boring and hot and why were we here and why didn’t I bring any water… We would have had matching posts again. And this one rings so true. The partner who thinks we have it easy. The trek from the parking lot. The way mom doesn’t get dry clothes. Someone doesn’t eat… oh my. So many great images in here.

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  3. Your joy is evident in your description, so is the exhaustion. It brought back lots of lovely summer memories. Enjoy the rest of your summer!

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  4. OMG– this was my life for several summers– even the braids! And you left out the part about getting home and sorting through the towels and suits and soggy goldfish.

    Paintbrushes are cheap and handy tools at the pool as water painting on cement is a pretty engaging activity. Let me know if you try it out.

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  5. You brought so many memories of those days for me. Honestly there are far fewer than 18. When they reach middle school they want to go to camp for this or that and hours at the pool with you do not seem remotely interesting. I would love a little of that busy.

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  6. I’m exhausted….but also so happy after reading this post. We are packing for vacation now, and it’s just the two of us and the dog. I was thinking yesterday about how much I miss packing up all the girls’ clothes and toys, snacks for the road, planning the pit stops along the way, thinking about the arguing over which music to play, etc. Enjoy every exhausting moment! The quiet days are nice, but something is missing….

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  7. I feel the same way. I wouldn’t trade having summers off, but the summer days can definitely be work. Even getting my two kids’ bikes on the street can be an ordeal. You captured it so well.

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