We’re one week into summer now (or 3 months and 1 week, depending on how you’re counting) and it’s…well, it’s different. Can something be as fun as always and still feel like it’s missing something? It’s weird to not start the day by texting my friends/family to see who wants to join us doing such-and-such thing at such-and-such time.

I went to print off last year’s summer bucket list, thinking I could just make a couple modifications to it. Once I deleted all the things we can’t do or I’m not comfortable doing, we were left with:

*make popsicles
*water balloon fight
*hike (but only on certain trails and only during odd hours)

Deleted from the list were swim lessons, soccer camp, overnight camp, museums, sleepovers, family vacations, Rocco’s birthday party, the 4th of July parade, BBQs, water parks, and, well, actually any park that has something fun at it, like a swing or a slide or another human being.

So with all that canceled, Kevin and I talked long and hard and finally made the decision to get a pool. And we did!  The kids wear exclusively swimwear now, there are beach towels draped on all our chairs, we have strict rules about the amount of wetness a person can be before coming in the house, and I say things to Kevin like, “Take my calls–I’ll be hanging out with the boys at the pool.”

Now, whatever you are picturing about Mrs. Mouthy lounging poolside with the boys, let me fix that for you. Here’s the kind of pool we got.

gray-intex-metal-frame-pools-26700eh-64_1000 (2)

I was disappointed to get it set up and see that the expansive real-grass lawn and cloudless, 80 degree day were not included.


I tried my hardest to take a picture of it that made the pool look as pretty as the picture on the box so I could show you it’s really all about angles, but it was an impossible task.

But still, WE HAVE A POOL!!

It’s the same shape, size, and freezing-coldness of the pool I had growing up. I have the best memories of that pool—playing shark, creating whirpools then trying to swim against them, diving into the middle again and again until the water started making a tidal wave.


(That’s me in the front! We started with this pool, then moved up to a bigger one.)

I also remember coming out shivering my little heinie off and lying down on the hot driveway to warm up, so last week I nearly died of serendipity when I looked out the window to see this.


On cloudy days when the driveway wasn’t, hot, we’d hop in the tub together, still in our swim stuff.


I have nearly died so many times this week!

While the coronavirus has been disastrous on so many levels, it has also brought some special moments to our lives, like listening to my boys splash and laugh in a backyard pool that we wouldn’t have bought if everything were normal.

And so, in answer to the question above: Can something be as fun as always and still feel like it’s missing something?




I guess, somehow, it can.

Pasta caprese
Corn on the cob
Strawberry shortcake

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