The pool where we spend the majority of our summer days opened on Memorial Day weekend, and with the schools out for the summer, we can now visit the pool every day. It's a beautiful pool with great guards, and it's under five minutes from home. The girls take swimming lessons, have a good group of friends, and we really couldn't ask for a better spot to spend our summer days.
We joined this particular pool when Madison was just shy of two, and Reagan was only a few months old. That summer was sort of a blur for me (for obvious reasons), but I remember feeling a bit caged in to the baby pool, with one child sitting in a bumbo under the umbrella, and another in swim diapers getting a feel for the water. I was hyper vigilant with two little ones, and felt alone, trapped in that baby pool while the moms with older kids chatted and lounged. I remember yearning for the days when I would be the one on a lounge chair, ice water and magazine in hand, chatting with friends while my kids splashed and played in the big pool.
I just read an article by a mom who was swearing off the pool with her kids under five. I totally got it. The pool isn't fun when you are managing multiple preschoolers and toddlers and babies. Just. Not. Relaxing. But I wanted to comment one of those annoying "it does get better" comments. Because we're on year five, and the progression is getting there.
The summer of 18 months and 3? Not those days.
We actually refer to that summer as the summer that Reagan was determined to fall face first in the baby pool a minimum of five times a visit. Thank God that no one was obsessively posting about dry drowning that summer, or I would have never slept.
The summer of 2 1/2 and 4? Not those days.
So much running. So much crying. And one who had to stay in the baby pool WITH me alongside one who wanted nothing to do with the baby pool, but wasn't really old enough to be away from me made for some fun times.
The summer of 3 1/2 and 5? Not yet...
Put my floatie on. Take my floatie off. Put my floatie on. Take my floatie off. I want to go back to the baby pool. I don't want sunscreen. I want another snack.
The summer of 4 1/2 and 6?
Holy Smokes, I think we're there.
They still need help from time to time. They still want snacks. Sunscreen needs to be reapplied. They still want me to go in with them on occasion.
But I spent a Saturday last week, sitting with a few other moms, chatting, drinking iced tea and Diet Coke, nibbling on popcorn, and just relaxing.
The kids played, together, laughing and shrieking and jumping and splashing. They stayed cool and exhausted themselves with fun and friends. I left, feeling refreshed from all the adult time.
It. Was. Awesome.
Well, until we got into the car to go home and both girls, over tired and crabby, moaned and whined about getting into our sauna of a car, which had been roasting all afternoon while we were having all that fun.
So we're still learning. What to pack in the pool bag for an ideal, easy day. What our "pool rules" need to be, now that I have kids who are more independent. And how to keep the car cool on hot days (that one was surprisingly easy, once I figured it out!)
But pool days? They've gone from crazy days to great days. And summer is awesome again.