Monday, July 7, 2008


Our pool is just beneath us (literally), so our kids are keen on swimming every day. I guess when I was a kid I would have gone swimming every day, too, if I had had the chance, but I can’t recall being as fanatical about it as they are! Still, I can’t complain, because our pool is in the shade and it’s heated—two rare features in Madrid. This past week we’ve all gone swimming three times, and the kids have gone another time “alone”, contenting themselves with Dad merely sitting poolside, reading, instead of the usual playtime with them in the pool. We told them early this season: “You will get more time in the pool this year if you’re okay with Mom and Dad not coming in with you!” So far, they’ve managed to cope with that arrangement.

Even as an adult, I enjoy swimming more when some kind of game is involved. If we didn’t have kids, it’s likely I would rarely get in the pool, but since we do, I get in the pool more often because they’ll be goofy with me. We play ball or say silly things to each other under the water. They also enjoy jumping off my shoulders and swimming between my legs. All in all, I’m grateful we get to go swimming a lot this summer. Likely, we will frequent the pool every day in August, since Madrid typically feels like a fiery furnace that month.

We’re blessed to live in an apartment building with a swimming pool. Actually, our apartment is directly over the swimming pool, so if our floor ever gives way we’ll be in the pool , summer or not. It’s nice having it so easily accessible. But it can be the bane of my existence because it’s always hovering in the consciousness of the kids. They can hear the water splashing and are forever dropping comments about the LOVELY WEATHER and WHEW, I AM SO HOT TODAY.

This year they have finally come to grips with the fact that they’ll get more swim time if they are content for us to take them down but not get in the pool with them. The kids both know how to swim and we have a lifeguard, but we don’t usually send them down on their own, even though everyone else does. If we aren’t in the mood to get in the pool, one of us will take a book down and sit on a bench while they swim.

I have to say though, if the weather stays this hot all summer, I might be getting in the pool more than normal. We are also spoiled because our pool is heated, so it doesn’t take your breathe away when you get in, and then the air actually feels nice and cool when you get out. And because the pool is literally under our apartment, but open to the sides, we don’t have to worry about sunscreen either!

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