Sunday, March 9, 2014

How To Clear Out a Pool

Best laid plans.  

I certainly didn't expect the afternoon to unfold this way.  When I escorted my four boys and one little friend to the pool, I envisioned endless play and fun.  Instead, an hour later, I stood on the pool deck watching a lifeguard wind "caution" tape around the outskirts of a vacant basin.

Why, you asked?

Look no further than my son.

While the boys splashed and frolicked in the pool, I noticed Caleb slowly cutting his way through the water towards the steps.  He lacked his usual pep.  His expression was downcast; his coloring was ashen.

Before I had time to ask, he cried, "I'm going to get sick!"

And then it happened so fast.  I didn't have a minute to react before he unleashed a flurry of....(yuck!).

And just like that, I landed in a pivotal mommy moral moment.  I debated my options.  Do I:

1)  yank Caleb from the pool, swear him to secrecy, and then feign surprise when the first swimmer notices floating chunks?


2)  fess up.  Admit to the lifeguard and fellow swimmers that my son was the reason the pool smelled/looked funny.

As painful as it was, I confessed to the lifeguard and he instantly jumped into action.  It was the pool equivalent of a "code blue."  The lifeguard blew his whistle and announced that all swimmers needed to evacuate the pool IMMEDIATELY.   I've never seen my children (and other children/adults) move so quickly.  Remember the scene in Caddy Shack when the doodie/Babe Ruth bar cleared out the pool?  Yeah, it went something like that.

Then the lifeguard rushed onto his walkie talkie.  He screamed instructions.  Management and maintenance workers raced onto the pool deck.  Immediately, the pool looked as if it had been the victim of a terrible hazardous waste crime.  All workers applied safety gloves.  (They were one step away from pulling on hazmat suits!)  Caution tape was applied.  Chemicals were tossed into the pool.  

An announcement was made that the pool was officially closed for 12 hours.  I tried not to make eye contact with the other (disappointed) swimmers, but I began to worry about our safety in the locker room among the angry masses.

I apologized profusely to the lifeguard.  He nodded, but seemed to quietly seethe.  I found solace in the fact that maybe one day he'd understand: the day he becomes a parent.

As we walked out of the pool, Caleb regained his vigor.  He asked for a bag of chips.  He fussed with his brother.  He appeared completely back to normal.

I sighed.  

Clearly this wasn't our day.



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