As a penance for pop stars writing songs about the wonders of living in California, we must suffer the wrath of June, July and August. We hit 9 days in a row of over 100 degrees and you definitely heard about it because finally people were complaining about something other than our flailing democracy. Immediately upon entering the outdoors you are assaulted by what you’d imagine Trump’s skin would feel like-- some sort of crispy burnt orange wave of nausea. There is really only one thing to do at times like this and that’s find someone with a pool and show up with offerings like fresh baked goodies, a fist full of cash or your first-born child.
When that inevitably fails, you always have the community pool option. Now, I know what you are thinking— swimming in gallons of over chlorinated backwash that is probably 2/3 water and 1/3 toddler pee should really be a last resort. But again, my charming new town saves the day when less than a mile from my house our community pool boasts a splash pad and a wading area topped off with an admirable life guard to swimmer ratio.
To avoid getting scalded by the car seat buckles, I said a prayer and loaded the girls in the bike trailer fully suited, sunscreened and pre-secured in their flotation devices. It was crowded in the way you’d describe Nugget market at 5pm, but not Times Square on NYE. Since that first day we’ve been back at least 4 times a week and its done wonders for my kids sleeping, eating and my skin prematurely aging.
I finally get to add “Don’t pee in the pool” to my daily parenting phrasebook, which let's face it, it's like telling them to not eat candy off the ground-- we all know they are going to do it. I also get to constantly remind them there is “No running” which is the lifeguards favorite motto and now that I’ve spent over 30 plus hours there and watched 11 kids eat it on the pavement while running, my teenage self is no longer bitter that my lifeguard friends made $20 an hour. Tax payer money well spent I’d say.
Another bonus of pool life is fixing tan lines from my typical yoga attire while rocking the “Mom Bathing Suit”-- which is really just code for finding something that will potentially limit the flashing to only one boob instead of two when your toddler inevitably pulls it down on impact from their 14th cannonball in a row. We forfeited our right to modesty the moment we were asked to put our legs in the stirrups at our first prenatal appointment. Somehow being half Irish still allows for a bronzed glow and people comment daily asking if we vacationed recently some place tropical. I just smile and explain to them the wonders of the community pool and how that’s the closet my family will come to Hawaii this summer.