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Summer's Officially Started

Our neighborhood pool opens right around
May 1, but only the brave venture in before June; the water’s
still darn cold (says the spoiled native Hawaiian) and needs some
time to warm up. I’ve told Maddie that the pool’s
usually open right around her early June birthday –
technically not a lie – but I’ve noticed she
doesn’t quite believe me as much any more: she asks me
repeatedly, “Is the pool open yet?” To my murmured
evasion – something along the lines of, “Well,
I’m not sure – I should check!” – she
always wails, “WHEN??”

A couple of times friends have nearly
gotten me in trouble. Maddie will say something like, “I
can’t wait for the pool to be open!” and the
well-meaning trouble-maker will innocently say, “Oh, it
already is!” Maddie’s head will whip around and
she’ll say, “WHAT did you say?” and I have to
hasten in for damage control: “Um, Mommy hasn’t seen
the gate unlocked yet!” Which is also true – the
gate’s always locked.

But Monday night we were back early from the lake, where both girls
got a taste of water play and craved more, and I knew friends were
having a party at our pool. So I threw on a faux-ecstatic look and
said, “Guess what??? The pool’s open!” And away
we went.

The girls had a grand time, with Maddie staying in the water until
8 p.m. and denying vehemently through blue lips that she was cold
at all. Mommy finally forced her out of the water, mostly because
Mommy was goose-skinned all over and losing circulation in her
fingers. The girls went home happy and tired, smelling of chlorine
and sunscreen.

So the gates have been flung wide open, and now every day I hear,
“Can we go to the pool?” at least twice a day. Last
summer we were there most mornings and several evenings each week,
and I can see this year will be no exception. I’ve already
packed our first poolside picnic for tomorrow, and forgot the sheer
amount of labor involved with getting together swimsuits, swim
diapers, floaties, towels, sunscreen, hats, hydrating snacks,
lunches that won’t wilt in the Texas sun, and plenty of water

Just call me pack mule for the rest of the summer.


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