A Little Storry : The Pool-Shopping For the Family

children at pool

It was hot. The kids were bored. Last year’s excitement over having our “very own yard” was starting to wane. After all, just how much fun could three little kids have in a 100 foot by 100 foot square of newly planted grass, shaded by two spindly trees fresh from the nursery?

My backside was starting to stick to my plastic lawn chair. Brody was hitting dirt clods with a wiffle-ball bat, sending them conspicuously close to his little brother, Max. Baby Ella was crawling on the lawn. She’d just found an object of questionable origin and it was heading toward her mouth. I jumped up and grabbed her, tossing her treasure back into the grass. She started to wail. Just then, one of Brody’s dirt clods connected with Max’s forehead and he started to cry, too. Brody looked from Max to Ella and then at me before his sobs joined the cacophony. That’s when it hit me: This family needs a pool.

Yes, a pool. Aw, that would be so nice. A place to cool off. A place for the kids to play. And how elegant the back yard would look with a pool as its luxurious centerpiece. I loaded the kids in the car and we headed straight for the big box sporting goods store. On the way, Brody entertained himself by digging crackers out of the back seat and lobbing them at Max.

In the store, we headed for the pool section. The first row had all the little ones: the pop up kind and the ones with inflatable rings. Nope. Not for us. We wanted a real pool, not a baby-sized wading pool. We needed something with substance – a pool we could actually swim in.

I did some research and found out that in-ground pools are insanely expensive but that an above ground pool would be within our budget .  I was thrilled.  I talked with my husband about it over dinner.  He sprung for the down payment next paycheck and we were on our way.  The hot days dragged by until he made the call, but after the purchase was made, the installation took almost no time at all.

Now let me be clear: we paid for installation.  I just didn’t have the wherewithal to deal with all the digging, and my back has not been in very good shape for a few years.  Really installation only added a fraction of the cost of the pool and from what I’ve heard about how arduous pool installation can be I think the costs were probably well wroth it–I doubt that I could have put that thing together by myself!

Once the installers arrive at our home, the whole thing went up fast. Once the frame was in place and I’d smoothed the liner, I just plugged in the pump and then let the garden hose do the rest. It would take some time to fill and to ‘shock’ with chlorine, so swimming would have to wait until tomorrow. The kids were so excited they were jumping up and down at the gate – I’d got a lock for that. No kids in this pool without me there as lifeguard.

The next day found us in paradise. Half submerged in my floating pool chair, with the ice cubes in my Arnold Palmer clinking merrily from the cup holder, I watched Brody squirt his brother with his new super soaker squirt gun. Max giggled and splashed Brody back. Ella kicked and wiggled in her floating ring. She waved her chubby arms, festooned with bright aqua blue water wings, then bestowed me with a beatific smile. I sighed, took a sip of my drink and slid down in my chair until the cool, refreshing water lapped at my chin. Now why didn’t I think of this before?

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