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Test Driving Pools

Pitting the 'easy set' against the Y

 

With the temperatures climbing last week, our family has already started seeking relief. With traditional Irish skin tones, we sometimes have a limited list of sunny-day activities. We can’t bask in the glorious sun all day long, even if we’d like to, as we only have two main skin tones: albino and burnt.

Despite the needs for frequent shade, we are test “swimming” a new idea this summer. Our kids have been begging for a pool since, well … since they could beg. Both have had swim lessons and can minimally swim enough not to lose their lives if they fall in.

To be honest, we’d probably have to take a third mortgage out to afford one, but I wouldn’t put it past us if it made us all happy. However, before we made a final decision, we thought it’d be great to test out the idea.

Our current best option to take a cool dip on a hot summer’s day is the Freedom Valley YMCA’s outdoor pools. We love heading up to Spring Valley in Limerick to enjoy the three water slides, kids’ pool and lap lanes. The only negative is the process involved. Changing two kids into swimsuits, packing up all of the gear and towels, and of course, driving all the way to the pool kind of puts a damper on the splashing around.

We always have a great time, but it is a draining process for mom. You have to pack the snacks (or put out more cash to buy some) or meals. It really takes up the whole day.

Instead, it’d be awesome to walk out our own back door and do the same things. We settled on a compromise. We purchased a “mini” pool this summer.

For just $150, it has so far been worth it.  We got a simple 15-foot “easy set” pool. The “ease” was a tad hard to find, as it took us four attempts to find a level enough yard space to fill it evenly. Once we got it balanced, it was great.

The kids spent the first 48 hours nearly exclusively submerged in the water. My son sported his first summer burn from chest-level up, the exact line of the water’s height on him.

For the following week (pre-thunderstorms of the last few days, of course), the kids swam every single day after school. Our routine has been: school or work, home to change, swim until bath time, then bed.

With only a week of school left to go, I’m keeping my fingers crossed for warm, sunny days without any raindrops. The small pool’s purchase has been a great test so far. The only drawback is I might be seeking a third mortgage next summer.

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