The End is at hand. Time to blow up the pool!
Can you feel it? Can you hear it? The last time this year the school bus will round the corner to drop off our precious passengers. The squeals of children that bound off the bus, their arms and backs laden with a year’s worth of art projects, worksheets, and whatever winter boots and mittens that strayed in their cubby. The initial relief and exhilaration that at last, the school year is over. Only to be followed by the yawning, gaping weeks of unscheduled time before camp.
I look forward to this time of year and dread it all at the same time. I look forward to sleeping in, not having a schedule but no schedule can lead to boredom and the downward spiral of me asking my kids for the umpteenth time to turn off the TV, or get off the computer.
It used to be easy to please my three children when they were little. Entertainment could be whipped up with a recipe of salt dough or a soap bubble mixture. Even in recent years, purchases of those oversized, blowup pools, complete with a waterslide, do the trick but for a day or two.
“Why should you blow that up again, mom? Daniel has a real pool? Can we get a real pool?” Yes, sweetheart, I think. I’ll just call up the contractor, take out a second mortgage and we’ll dig a whole in the ground. In a month, the pool will be in, and we can swim in it for another month before the first frost sets in.
I am quite thankful for growing up having a pool in my backyard. It was no fancy in-ground swimming hole. A humble, round, above ground pool – not even a deck – did the trick just fine for inviting friends over for a party. In fact, everyone in my middle-class Staten Island neighborhood seemed to have one. Where some codes in some housing developments ban these vinyl and steel pools, they were all the rage back home. I always wanted to fly over my neighborhood to see what it looked like with all those round and kidney-shaped pools dotting our tiny backyards.
Even if my kids poo-poo it, this will be appreciated if the weather gets hot enough. I will drag the pool out of my shed, dust it off. I will then bring up the wet-dry vac from the basement and sit in a lawn chair as I watch it slowly inflate. Hopefully, a sharp rock or branch has not punctured it from the summer before. Then it will need a patch. Finding the hole and sealing it is about as difficult as sealing the BP oil well in the Gulf of Mexico and a topic for another blog post.
A blowup pool is worth the investment. It will stave off boredom at least until the community pool opens. Or an invite to a real backyard pool comes along.