They’re flashy, they’re fun, they’re… expensive? A liability? A pain?
They’re pools! And everyone wants one, until they have one it seems. So whats the deal with pool? Are they worth having? Do the pros outweigh the cons? Everyone’s personal list is different of course, but for me- a family man with 3 children- I was surprised at how a summer vacation could change my attitude towards pools.
I won’t lie, I’ve never been a fan of pools. I grew up near the ocean so it didn’t make sense to me that I would waste money maintaining a pool at my house. Having kids, it was always a concern that one of the tots would wander into the pool- thats a thought no one needs to explore. There is the added expense of a pool guy and then (especially in Hawaii) the electric bill bump you get from the filter running all the time. Some heavy ‘cons’ to consider when looking to purchase a home.
When I looked for a house to buy, a pool was definitely not on my list of must haves. However, maybe it should have been.
On our summer vacation this June, I took my kids on a road trip up through California and into Oregon. We stayed at hotels, vacation rentals and my cousins house in San Diego, which had a pool.
I had been concerned that my 3 year old daughter would be trouble around the pool- she’s the type that leaps firsts, suffers later. I was right. From the moment we arrived all she did was try to get in the pool. I was frustrated and annoyed with the idea of watching her like a hawk. It would be so much easier if there wasn’t a pool there.
I decided to just get it over with and put her floaties on and jump in with her. I put down my phone, my computer and my work, and got in the pool with my kids. In no time at all I removed the floaties from my daughter and worked with her- letting her swim to the steps, to the side of the pool and to me. I let her suck some water. I let her learn to bounce off the bottom.
Violet Learns To Swim
And then it happened; she learned to swim! She could jump in, float, take a breath and then swim to me. She could swim away from the steps, and then swim back again. She did it! We did it!
The sun was going down now. I had been in the pool for hours. I had escaped reality, existed only with my children the way a dad should on vacation. I hadn’t let go of the real world until that moment.
There is an unquantifiable element that attaches itself to the memories and interactions that occur in and around the pool- a magical feeling that must be experienced to understand- the hot sun evaporating water droplets off your back, the way a starry night looks during a midnight skinny dip with your significant other- or the look on your daughters face underwater when she realizes she has learned to swim. These are items that you cannot put on any list, and must be experienced to count.