We have a pool in our backyard with an attached hot tub. As a kid I would’ve loved to have a pool in my backyard. I would have spent the entire summer season swimming in that pool. Kids aren’t supposed to give two shits about the temperature of water when they are presented with a pool calling their name: “come frolick in me little child. Come splash me and jump in me and pee in me and play marco polo in me. I am so much fun.” Clearly it is the end of summer and I have lost my damn mind as I have resorted to anthropomorphism. I now have a talking pool.

Anyway, my children have a lot of self-inflicted rules regarding their luxurious backyard pool.

  1. They only swim in the pool two months out of the year – June and July. By August they are pretty much over it. They may dip their toes in the pool sporadically during the months of August and September if they are feeling crazy.
  1. They will not enter the pool if it is less than 80 degrees, and if they do, they will only stay in for 2 minutes before declaring it to be near arctic freeze temperatures.
  1. The hot tub must be on in case they get a bit chilly in the 80-degree water.

Many years ago when I had only one child and not an entire brood, we were swimming at my friends’ house and her kids were begging her to turn the hot tub on. That is when she told me that she refuses to turn the hot tub on in the summer because she doesn’t want them to become unable to tolerate cold water. This made a lot of sense to me. I am going to start trying this in my home, I said to myself. It does cost a lot of money to heat the hot tub up. Plus, why do my kids have to be such wimps? They should’ve grown up in the 70s or 80s and then they would know how to act appropriately around pools.

I gave the “no hot tub in the summer” rule one solid try and said screw this. The only person this no hot tub rule hurts is ME. The kids get their suits on. We spend 10 minutes lathering them with SPF 70 sunscreen, being careful not to miss a single square inch of their red-headed pale bodies. They jump in the pool with pure delight. Just when I get my ass nice and situated on the lounge chair with the umbrella perfectly positioned to block the sun, a cold drink in one hand and a book in the other, my kids have already scrambled out of the 80 degree pool shivering like hikers suffering from hypothermia on the top of Mount Everest. Ever since the first attempt to go sans hot tub, that hot tub is firing up every goddamn time we go out for a dip.


A few days ago it was 105 degrees outside at my house. The kind of heat hits you with a fierce hot air that creates an instant stream of sweat down the side of your face. The kids asked me to turn the hot tub on, but this time I stood my ground.

“I will absolutely not turn on the hot tub. It is 105 degrees outside. Do you feel how hot it is out here kids? It is virtually like we have stepped out into a hot burning oven,” I said.

I went on to tell them a very important story from my childhood with a powerful lesson for these Generation Z kids.

“Kids, when I was a kid do you know what I used to do?” Is said. “I would swim for hours in the swimming pool, which probably was not nearly as warm as this one. If I got a little cold, I would get out, lay my towel down on the blazing hot cement and lay on my stomach. It takes only a few minutes until you will start to sizzle like an egg on a frying pan.”

They looked at me with blank stares. They had no idea what I was talking about, and furthermore I must be crazy. Why would I sizzle on the concrete? How was I able to stay in the pool for hours? Why would I get back in the cold pool again?

I could practically hear their wheels spinning. If I had to interpret what they were thinking at that moment I would say it was this: we will just wait until our mom gets nice and comfortable with her drink and book, and then we will get out of the pool all shivering and dramatic.

Why would they lay on concrete when their mom will just turn on the hot tub on to accommodate her own lazy needs?

Kids these days are so smart.

You can see how cold Violet is by the look on her face.
You can see how cold Violet is by the look on her face.

Until next time, the mothership is signing off.

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Swimming Wimps
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4 thoughts on “Swimming Wimps

  • August 3, 2015 at 6:13 pm


  • August 3, 2015 at 7:30 pm

    I can’t wait to throw ‘anthropomorphism’ into a conversation Meg, Thanks. Bete

  • August 4, 2015 at 10:23 am

    Try throwing a little polio scare into the mix from the 50’s and 60’s. How about waiting two hours after eating before you can re-enter the pool so you won’t drowned with cramps. And, of course, the pools were not heated.
    Tell them about your having to walk through the snow to get to the hot tub when you were a kid.

  • February 22, 2016 at 3:57 pm

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    So good to find somebody with original thoughts on this subject matter.

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