Battling the verklempt

I am nothing if not illogical when it comes to my children, so after telling you last week how graduation didn’t hit me the way I thought it would—because it’s a Very Big Thing, y’know—of course this morning I’m on the verge of tears because Monkey started his summer job. As in, working. For money. In a lab. LIKE A RESPONSIBLE GROWN(ISH) PERSON. I need a minute.

I considered taking a picture of his shoes, per tradition, but it was clear that I was already irritating the snot out of him as he got ready (“Mom, I have everything. STOP ASKING.”) so in the end I opted for discretion. Feel free to praise me for my restraint.

Rather than wallowing in this strange state of Many Feels, I decided the proper antidote was to write you a Very Useful Post you can refer to any time you consider whether or not you’d like to either install a pool or purchase a house which already has one. This is timely, right? It’s hot out there, and I get it—a pool sounds awesome. A pool IS awesome, but you should go into it with your eyes open, because owning a pool is a big deal. Here you go: Is a pool right for your family? I’m here to help. (And not to cry about MAH BAYBEE going to work. Much.)


  1. Ali

    I spent many summers watching my dad battle the pollen (Hi, Georgia!) and pH for pool dominance peppered with, uh, salty language. 10 years or so later, I asked why he kept the pool rather than fill it in since he hated it so much. Apparently the pool was a calculated investment in keeping his 4 daughters out of jail and early parenthood since “We had the only pool in the neighborhood in southern GA. I knew where my girls were every day. Worth it”.

    • Sarah

      Sounds like my parents strategy of having a basketball net out front and a ping pong table and drum kit in the basement.
      (If your kid is the drummer, the band has to practice at your place, and you know where he is)

    • Kim

      Love that.

  2. Sarah

    My parents have bought and sold many homes through my dad’s 35+ year military career.
    As tempting as pools looked, my dad often joked that the best house has a great pool NEXT DOOR with friendly neighbors who like baked goods.

    (Then again the backyard pool season is much shorter in Canada. Even in the comparatively tropical southern Ontario region where we can grow cherries and peaches and I sometimes go all winter without needing boots for the cold)

  3. Heidi

    No; a pool is not right for my family. See, I already know the answer, and I haven’t even read your post! Because I’ve been reading this blog lo these many years, so I recall in excruciating detail the saga of the liner, etc., etc. Packing up half the household to go to the pool/beach has got to be easier–especially now that I’ve got it down to a science. Also, my parents used to have a big hot tub, and my mother said one of the unintended bonuses was cleaning the filter and learning about the many colors, textures, and lengths of other people’s pubic hair. That is something I would not care to know.

  4. Chuck

    Hope Monkey got a cool summer job. I was never good at finding those…

  5. Wendy

    Growing up and also currently living in Arizona, I know the following: A pool is NOT right for my family.

    I intentionally sought a house with no pool because of forced enlisted pool care through the teenage years for the pool at the house I grew up in.

    The BEST pool is the pool owned by your mom who lives less than a mile away — all the benefits of a pool you can use anytime you want, a place to leave all of your pool crap so you don’t have to haul it back and forth, and NONE of the $$ and time commitment to pool care. Plus the ADDED BONUS of “Mom, the kids LOVE your house, can they spend all summer there!” and her being all happy to have her grandkids in residence. Plus she FEEDS THEM. It is the ultimate WIN-WIN-WIN of pool-portunity.

    I am pool-spoiled.

  6. Mel

    Did you write a post at some point about why you converted to Saline from Chlorine? Just curious!! :)

    • Mir

      I don’t know if there was ever a single post… maybe not. My oldest battled some weird mystery skin condition for years and years (mostly resolved now; knock on wood) and chlorine was a huge irritant, so we converted. It’s really nice, actually—your eyes don’t get irritated and it makes your skin softer, plus the critters that fall in the pool tend not to die as often.

  7. Brigitte

    At a lab!? Cool!

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