Menifee Mom: Family Togetherness, In the Pool and Out

By Karen Thomas

After enduring eight hot Menifee summers, we finally put in a pool!

The reasons for waiting were many: Cost, housing market crash, safety with toddlers in the house, maintenance, etc. Everything finally came together last fall and we decided to go for it.

Putting in the pool was quite an adventure, but it was worth it. My kids have their friends over more, which I honestly do enjoy, and we've already created some great family memories.

The first pool party we had brought some older teenage boys into the pool, along with their crazy acrobatic flips. My husband and I were quite impressed and, after everyone had gone home, thought we'd like to try it out.

Our kids can bear witness that our first attempts were not pretty. My husband said that I looked like Superman crash landing into the water and his attempts displayed some pretty nice back flops! By the time we were done practicing, we pretty much conceded that we weren't as young as we used to be and that the tricks are best left to the teenagers. Our backs hurt, our necks hurt, and our egos were a little bruised as well.

Our kids, on the other hand, enjoyed seeing mom and dad making a fool of themselves and fail at something. We all shared a good laugh together, but more importantly, our kids realized that it's OK to try and fail. Hopefully it will give them a little more confidence to try out something new the next time they get the opportunity.

They haven't quite attempted the flips yet; they're having too much fun teasing us, but I know they will.

The family environment is such a great opportunity for learning and growth. We can try new things, share experiences together, and know that no matter what the outcome, we will still be loved and accepted. Our lives are so full and busy, it's nice to have something that brings everyone together and causes us to slow down and just relax.

You don't have to have a pool to enjoy family togetherness. Something as simple as cooking dinner together and then sitting down to eat as a family can bring wonderful memories and opportunities to share life's ups and downs. (My kids love to remind me of the time I set the French bread on fire in the oven!)

What matters is that you find something you can enjoy together that lets you slow down, relax, and just be yourself. We all need a safe place where we can leave the world behind and do just that.

Karen Thomas is a stay at home mom of four daughters, has been on the PTA board at her kids' school for four years, and is a volunteer at her church, in addition to her activities as a volunteer soccer referee, a piano teacher, and a runner. Her column will appear here every other week. Comments are welcome.


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