For at least ten years, I spent nearly every summer afternoon at the community pool with the kids. It was the cheapest entertainment in town with an annual pass for the entire family a whopping $120.00. The kids loved to go and while they played shark and Marco Polo, I'd have some desperately needed adult conversation with other moms.
At the time, there was a baby/toddler pool, the main pool, a diving pool and adult pool. The baby pool sat up higher with steps that went down to the toddler pool. Wet steps that water constantly ran down. And what does a toddler like to do more than anything? Climb steps. And what happens when a wobbly toddler climbs up and down wet steps? They smack their face.
For most of those years, I was with one toddler or another on those steps and even if you were mere inches away, if you took your eye off of them for a second, they'd do a face plant onto the concrete stairs. Some face plants required lifeguard intervention when the screaming wee one was bleeding from a fat lip.
It. Was. A. Design. Cluster. Of. The. Greatest. Magnitude.
A fence separated that pool from the main pool, and I'd look through the chain link with such envy. One time, I saw a kid go up to his mom who was laying on her chaise lounge smoking a cigarette and she yelled, "WHADDYA WANT????" when he was still ten feet away. Snack bar, he said, and she threw some dollars his way and told him to leave her alone.
One more summer and I could join those lazy slackers who actually relaxed at the pool and left it up to God and the lifeguards to make sure their kid didn't drown.
That fall I got pregnant. It would be four more years before I finally had my Shawshank Redemption.