Summer Finale – Lessons from the Pool


This was our very first summer at our neighborhood pool.  And will definitely not be the last.  As I look back over the summer at the pool, here are some lessons learned and things I want to remember.

  1. It takes at least an hour for me to get 3 kids “ready” to go to the pool.  Suits on, sunscreen smothered, towels and goggles thrown in a bag, water bottles filled, rations packed, etc.  I’ve learned not to say “we’re going to the pool!” until we really are out the door and headed to the car.  Announcing early before everything is packed up only causes too many “are we leaving yet?” questions.
  2. I will often forget an item.  Usually it is goggles since they go back-and-forth from “pool” bag to “swim lesson” bag.  Maybe I should stock up on some extras next summer if we are still in swim lessons.
  3. Glad we didn’t consider swim team this summer, but definitely on the agenda for next summer.
  4. Consistently going to a pool really is the best way for a kid to become a better swimmer.  I could not even believe how much progress the kids made over the summer.  I do not regret our weekly swim lessons we continue to do year-round at Kids First at all.  The lessons definitely helped my kids with form and stroke, etc.  However, being in the water a lot this summer built confidence and skill!  Hence #3.
  5. On any given “normal” day my kids eat one snack between lunch and dinner around 3:00 in the afternoon.  At the pool?  They eat every hour.  Every :45 that whistle blows for adult swim and it’s like Pavlov’s dog…hungry!  And not just “mom, I’d like a snack” type of hungry, but all kids running from pool screaming “MOM! ARE YOU EVER GOING TO FEED ME AGAIN? I’M STARVING!!!!!!!!!!!” type of hungry.
  6. The rolling cooler?  Best damn purchase.  Ever.  $20 well spent and it even held together.  AND the kids were still arguing on the last day over who got to pull it in and out of the pool.
  7. Even though there is water involved, many parents still act like those annoying parents you can’t stand at the playground.  The ones that totally ignore their kid, the bad behavior of the kid, etc.  Uh, ma’am…the lifeguard is not indeed a sitter.  And I’m definitely not here to entertain your child (I don’t even know you!) while you sit in the back row reading your book in the shade.  Tell your kid to quit swimming through my legs.  NOW.
  8. Dads will always be way cooler than moms at the pool.  And dads only come on rare occasions.
  9. Moms would sometimes usually almost always rather be sitting poolside with a book or magazine.  But we are not.  We get in when it’s cold, we keep headcount constantly, we pull up and down wet suits for potty breaks, we change disgusting swim diapers, we smile while having water splashed at us and dumped on us, etc.  With little kids, the pool is work for us…especially without dad.
  10. Most importantly, it’s always better in numbers.  My summer would not have been nearly as much fun without this crazy crew (and the handful that are missing!).


And as an added bonus…those kids belong to these moms.  My neighbors friends.  Our pool definitely has a sense of community.   Everyone is friendly, but you can easily find your common group.  And this is mine.  (The only bitch this summer was Mother Nature.)  We’ve got each other’s backs (literally, like with sunscreen), headcount each others kids, and share snacks and meals…and drinks!  Again, a few are missing from the photo, but there’s plenty of us that you are almost never alone at the pool!


Now the pool is closed and the season is over.  I’m really going to miss seeing this group regularly. I’m thinking the fun cannot end.  Bonfire and beers anyone?

What will you miss about the summer?


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