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Poolside Princesses

When we were house-hunting here in Texas
last fall, our realtor made an executive decision for us: she
wouldn’t allow us to look at any houses in neighborhoods
where there weren’t community pools. “Because,”
she said, “Your kids are going to live at the pool during the
summer, won’t they? It’s the best place for a mommy on
a hot summer day.” I thought she was a little over-the-top
with the decision, but we had so many great places to choose from
that fit the criterion that I went along with it. Consequently, our
new home here is located near not one, but two neighborhood pools.

And boy, am I thanking my realtor now.

June has only just begun and we’ve
already spent nearly two weeks with temperatures hovering near 100
degrees. I grew up here and remembered the summers were hot, but
let’s face it, I spent all summer indoors in a ballet studio
and wasn’t exactly a poster-child for your average summer
vacation. So while I remembered it vaguely, my recollections
didn’t do justice to the weather – the hot, baking sun
beating down on the flat, hill-less, shade-less landscaping.

In other words, too dang hot to play outside much.

We found a few survival techniques: the water table helps, as does
the inflatable pool we’ve got, and we’ve learned to
play outside early and late and find fun things to do indoors
during the heat of the day. But a couple weeks ago we heard through
the grapevine that the community pool was warm enough to swim, and
so we hit the ground dog-paddling and haven’t looked back.

Maddie’s been in the pool some: we went to our local YMCA for
the occasional swim, and we had fun at the hotel pool on vacation.
But Cora had never been in anything bigger than our bathtub, so at
first she was a bit gun-shy. Soon enough, though, she warmed up to
the idea, and now you can’t get her out of the water. I
wasn’t completely surprised, since Cora loves the water in
any form – water table, bath time, brushing teeth, you name
it and she’s got her hands in it. But this pool thing is in a
league of its own.

The best part about our pool is the baby pool – one whole
(small) pool that’s only 1 ½ feet deep. Maddie feels
strong and in charge there, and Cora can just barely walk around
with her head above water in it. We’ve got a floatie that
Cora’s loved to ride in, though she recently rejected it as
being too confining and obstructive of her view and refused to get
in any more.

And Maddie? Well, Maddie begs several times a day to go to the
pool, and sometimes we do end up there more than once. We’ll
go in the morning and play before it gets really hot, then come
back for lunch and naps, and if we’re in the mood we’ll
head back after dinner for a quick dip with the whole family. Brian
remarked the other day as we walked down the alley to the pool,
pulling the girls in the wagon and wearing our towels around our
neck, that it feels as if we’re on vacation; the only time we
ever swim in a pool is in a hotel, so each time we head over we
contemplate ordering drinks poolside or something.

So I can definitely see the advantages to this thing. We had
playgroup there Monday and Maddie was in hog heaven, splashing
around in inner tubes with her friends. We had the space all to
ourselves, and went back and forth between pools, snacking on fruit
and water, and having a generally great time. When the heat of the
day struck, everyone dispersed to their homes for lunches, children
satisfyingly droopy and tired from the heat.

I’m pretty sure I’ll be sick of the pool by September,
but for now I’m so grateful for the option that I can’t
imagine getting tired of it. I see our house littered with small
water toys, pool towels flung everywhere to dry, and realize this
is a preview of how our summer is going to look.

And that’s pretty cool with me.


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