Monday, May 25, 2009

In praise of the community pool

We live in country club territory. There are three country clubs within five miles of our home. Swim team is a big deal around here; in the summer SUV windows are painted with slogans such as "GO HOX!" It's a beautiful thing: healthy kids, healthy competition.

We don't belong to a country club. But I'm not sorry about it. Dave belongs to a prestigious golf club an hour from our house, which I wish he'd use more often. We don't do swim team because our tendency has been to spend at least a few weeks each summer at Tahoe and take an extended vacation every other year. This doesn't lend itself to to being a good swim team member.

We don't have a pool at our house, nor do we want one. Sure there are a few days a year when I wish we did, days when it's well over 100F degrees and I would just love to throw the kids outside to burn off their energy. But Dave and I both grew up with pools and were in agreement that as adults, we didn't want the hassle of maintaining one.

Instead we joined the local community pool, which is perfect for our needs. It draws from the homes surrounding our elementary school and every afternoon it's full of kids that our kids either know or recognize. I love it there. The kids swim as long as we'll let them. I plant myself on a chaise under an umbrella, chat with the moms and dads or immerse myself in a book, magazine or technobabble, and look up every so often to see The Pinks' face-eclipsing smiles. It also gives me an opportunity to get to know the parents who I do not often see at school because I spend my days banging away at this laptop or volunteering in individual classrooms, not on the PTA.

We were at the pool today for a few hours before having some friends and family for dinner. Polka dots seem to be in this year, as well as brightly striped beach towels from Target. It was crowded and fortunately we got there early enough to get a good spot. And so BBQ season begins ...


Thom Singer said...

I grew up with a pool too... and I am in full agreement with you and Dave that I do NOT want one now.

My kids don't like this. I have told them that like male pattern baldness.... pool ownership often skips a generation.

Polka Dot Moon said...

I prefer the community pool to a home one, but here there is one is all but 2 neighbors yards.

Not only the maintenance, but safety - YEAR ROUND! Makes me more gray than I am!!!