We live in a community that has many pools for us to go to. Some are BIG pools (which I hate going to because I spend the entire time walking around looking for the big kids – where did they go? the other side of the pool is miles away!) and some are much smaller pools, and that is where I prefer to go because I can sit in my lounge chair and watch all the kids at one time, right in front of me. It’s easier on me, and so that’s why I choose it. Although I catch a lot of grief from the older kids who much prefer the bigger pools.
The thing with the smaller community pools is that you don’t want to go to one that is too crowded. Obviously, because it’s smaller, it’s not as fun when more people are there taking up the small space. So what we do is drive around and scope the pools out. If a certain pool looks too crowded, we simply drive to the next one, which is usually only another couple blocks away.
So today that’s what we did. As we passed our third rejected pool, we came across a pool that we had never been to before. And when we glanced at it, there appeared to be no one there! Perfect! In fact, that’s just like striking gold! Well, not really, because striking gold in this day and age with the price of gold what it is right now would be waaay more exciting than finding a community pool that is vacant. But I digress.
So we get out of the van, unload all of our stuff, divvy it up equally so everyone is helping to carry something – my big kids insist that both Andrew and Aria at least carry a towel to do their share of help. Sometimes they are better parents than I am – and we make our way to the pool. Once we get inside the gate, I notice that there is an older man and woman in the pool. By “older” I mean senior citizens, perhaps in their early 70’s. We didn’t see them from the street because they were actually IN the pool, and you cannot see that low down from the van.
So right away I feel very awkward, you see, because up until my troop arrived this couple had the entire pool to themselves and were probably enjoying the peace and quiet. We come through the gates, and right away I can see their eyes get big as they silently count us one, two, three, four, five, six… holy cow how many kids does this lady have? and already A.J. had done something to annoy Andrew and he starts yelling, “STOPPPPPPP ITTTT AAAAAJJJJJaaaayyyyy!!!!” at the top of his lungs, while Aria begins screaming for someone to hold her towel because it is “TOO HEBBY!” and Alex and his friend Chase – oh yes, I forgot to mention that in addition to my large brood, we also had an extra child with us – took it upon themselves to jump into the middle of the pool before I even had the gate shut, before I even had the chance to tell them to be courteous to the nice lady and gentleman in the pool…
Immediately the two senior citizens turn their heads away to avoid being splashed in the face.
Okay, I know it’s a pool and they always say if you are in the pool you have to expect to get wet…yada, yada, yada. But some people just really don’t want to get wet LIKE THAT, you know? And let’s face it; old people – God love ’em because I’m going to be old one day, too – typically don’t like being bothered by kids that are not their sweet grandchildren. And when they go to a quiet pool setting, they expect it to stay a quiet pool setting. Even though it’s a public pool. Even though me and my kids have every right to be there, the same as they do. They just don’t like it. And the looks that they shoot over at us even before Alex and Chase jumped into the pool said just as much. And I felt a bit put-out, actually. Because the last thing I want to do at the pool is to police my kids to not splash!
But that’s what I end up doing. I tell my kids to stay on the one side of the pool where the man and the lady aren’t, and I tell them no jumping onto the Boogie boards because that makes too much of a splash, and I tell them not to jump into the pool but just to swim around calmly, and I tell them not to yell or talk too loudly.
I’m the pool Nazi and the kids don’t like me.
Mom, what up with all the rules?
After a while, I notice that although I’ve given that elderly couple a whole half of a pool to themselves, they keep swimming over to our side! What’s up with that? Do they want to be bothered by my kids? Now I’m wondering. Why am I controlling my kids in such a way so as not to disturb this couple’s tranquility when they are so obviously coming over to be smack in the middle of my kids’ chaos? Did I possibly misunderstand the looks they gave us?
look at these sweet, innocent faces
So, I gave my kids free reign of the pool and let up on the restrictions. And they flipped and flopped and splashed and yelled and did all that normal fun stuff that kids do in a pool. And I relaxed.
Andrew jumps and turns
Andrew flips. Did I mention that this kid just turned five years old?
A.J. flops onto his Boogie board
And that’s when the two senior citizens got out of the pool, wrapped themselves up in their towels, and left! And so I’m wondering….was it the kids? or was it just time for them to leave?
I suppose I will never know!