Living in Arizona is great. It’s so beautiful and there are so many outdoorsy things to do. In the winter. Living in Arizona in the summer is hot and miserable. Some people handle it just fine, but I find it too harsh. There are a few things I can do to beat the heat. One thing is going swimming. I think that it’s pretty much a requirement to have a pool when you live in Arizona. If you don’t have a private pool, you either become really close with someone who has a pool, or you live in a community with a pool. Sometimes I realize just how blessed we are to live in the neighborhood we do. We have three community pools for our use. That’s right, I said three. One of the pools is just a few steps from home.
There are so many advantages to having a community pool rather than a private one. We don’t have to deal with maintenance. The HOA takes care of the repairs and hires the cleaning guys. I don’t have to do a thing. We don’t have to take up the majority of our yard with a pool. Now, in the house that we have, we don’t have room for a wading pool in our yard, but that’s neither here nor there. If we actually had a yard, I would want it for my kids to run around and kick balls and climb trees. I would want it for gardening (Ches wants a vegetable garden, I want a flower garden). I would want it for trees. And perhaps even a trampoline. Not a pool taking up all that space. With a community pool we don’t have to worry about what to do with the pool in the winter or how good of a fence we have around the pool. We don’t have to worry about my kid drowning in my backyard pool. We see news reports several times a week here during the summer about young children drowning in the family pool. It’s sad. It’s horrific. I don’t want to chance it.
As you can see, I love having a community pool that we can use any time (within the posted hours, of course). It’s especially nice when you’re poor like us and can’t afford to go on vacations and have nothing else to do all summer in this oppressive Arizona heat. It’s also great because we don’t even have the money to go to public pools. It’s a special treat to go somewhere else to swim. We love the pools we have, though. Who needs a water slide, dump buckets, lazy river, or whirlpool? (Okay, so we love that stuff. That’s part of the special treat, though!)
There are definite disadvantages to not having a private pool, however. Usually it doesn’t bother me at all. Today I was bothered.
I know it’s Memorial Day and so I knew it would be busy. We aren’t the only ones who enjoy swimming on Memorial Day. Not a big deal. I was pleasantly surprised to find several friends at the pool. Made it a lot more fun for the boys. I was not-so-pleasantly surprised to see some adults in the pool with an inflatable raft playing beer pong in one corner of the pool. Especially when the second rule posted for everyone to see is “No open alcohol within the pool gates”. Now, I’m not going to care that much if someone is drinking (Seriously, I get it. It’s Memorial Day and so you’re drinking beer and swimming and having a BBQ! That’s what people do!), but really? IN the pool? Whatever. They stayed in their corner and played their little game (for the entire hour and a half we were there. Hmmm. Not counting the time before we got there, not to mention that they were still playing when we left), but it was still bothersome to me that people would do that in a pool where a bunch of young kids were. They were completely blocking one of the two sets of stairs. Little kids are trying to get in and out of the pool! Gah. Oh well. They stayed to themselves and didn’t get obnoxious or anything, so we didn’t say anything to them. Just stewed to ourselves (and with our friends).
More people came to the pool. A lot of people came to the pool. Not a big deal. Except no one was using good manners. No one was watching. Kids of all ages and sizes would run and jump in the pool without watching where they were going and who was already in the pool. I was mainly worried about Parker, who only swims with floaties and doesn’t like his face in the water. Some kid jumped on Ches’ head. Their parents weren’t any better. Throwing balls and yelling and just not watching out. One young dad was only at the pool with his baby for about 10 minutes. He couldn’t do anything without some big kids jumping in and splashing the baby.
We left because we were not comfortable with the amount of people in the pool, with the amount of drinking that was going on, and with the lack of consideration for anyone else actually in the water. It just didn’t feel safe.
We’ll go back tomorrow and I’m sure there won’t even be half the amount of people there. We’ll get back to being able to play and feel safe and just have fun in the pool. And hey, if you’re ever bored, come on over. We love to swim with our friends!