After normal Saturday morning swim lessons, we decided to spend the day at the community center pool.
The forecast was for high temperatures. I don't think we expected it to be as hot as it is, though. The numbers weren't wrong, but that reality bordered on unforgivable. The temperature approached, but didn't (it seems) technically break 100°F today. It has been pretty dry, with a really low humidity, so it feels Vegas hot. The pool was a great idea, probably even better than hiding inside.
We avoided the pool last summer, opting for a large inflatable in the yard. It lasted most of the summer, and suited our youngest swimmer's needs. At less than three-feet deep, but more than six feet wide and ten feet long inside the water area, there was plenty of room to actually swim for the little ones. Of course, a vinyl pool only lasts so long with that much water, and by summer's end, the seams had given, and it started leaking air and stopped holding water. The maintenance we did was essentially the most damaging, as we'd empty it completely every few weeks, which included letting out lots of air and flipping it over to drain it, and then setting it aside to dry and allow the lawn to recover. It did do a number on the lawn, too, as we put it on a tarp to protect the pool (more than the lawn) from things that might poke or chew through.
We spent some time this spring repairing the lawn, which is now rich and full, although a different shade of green than the rest of the lawn (which had also been over-seeded with the same grass seed). Really it looks like carpet that had been installed in a different orientation than the rest of the floor. It'll work out, and is better than a patch of mud regardless.
We decided against the same damage and maintenance this year, and with the hope of the (adult) population vaccinated, and the guidance of reduced social distancing outside, we decided to gamble on more frequent visits to the community pool. The pool opened earlier in the week, but we held off to see how it would go, and until we had enough time to spend there. We met with friends, and tried to get the little little a bit more comfortable in the pool. He still clings to teachers or the wall during swim lessons, even though he does appropriately well when compelled to swim solo.
We arrived around noon, and left at 4PM. There was a little bit of a break near 2PM as we ate a late lunch. Except for lunch and the hourly safety breaks, where they kick all of the swimmers out of the pool for about ten minutes, the kids were in the water pretty much the whole time. The adults took turns lounging a little and talking, but also spent a lot of the time in the water. The kids found other friends also at the pool, and would play with them also. Much of my time in the pool was helping the youngest jump in (usually a belly flop) and "swim" back to the edge to repeat. I also was climbed on in the shallow water, as I was evidently playing some form of predator to their form of "you can't catch me" prey. Loads of laughs and splashing, and unmitigated fun.
One thing we noticed we're not good at is reapplying sunscreen. We found seating near the tree-lined edge, so after midday, the seats were in the shade, which is nice while lounging, but didn't help while swimming. We did a good job of lathering up at the start of the day. I did one little touch up on my forearms, neck, and face, but between the water washing over, kids climbing on, and just sunscreen having limited effective periods, much of it wore out before I was done needing it. My face survived pretty well because of my function-before-style bucket hat, and my shoulders and torso are spared because I wear a shirt while swimming (both for sun protection, and because the kids grab on to whatever they can when they need to...). My legs were either protected by the board shorts or being shadowed by my torso and thighs. But my forearms and foot-tops, and back of my neck, seem to have nearly completely avoided protection after that first bit.
In the end, the kids were reticent to leave, but also thoroughly fatigued and starting to get hungry. It helped that our friends had a scheduled thing and need to go, so at the 4PM safety check, we packed up and ambled back. Our long good-bye allowed everyone's swimwear to dry enough to gamble against wet seats for the few minute drive home. It's just a mile, but there are a few stop signals or signs along the way. We didn't make it that far before the little little passed out. He slept for another hour after we got home.
Here's hoping the sunburn fades quickly!