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We are two working mothers — Lauren Rose, the director of business development for Name Bubbles, and Betsy DeMars, the assistant managing editor at The Saratogian. Try as we may to be really good at both, balancing motherhood and career can get pretty messy. As professionals, work schedules and mommy schedules often collide. So, we plow through, hoping at the end of the day, our kids — Lauren's 5-year-old son and Betsy's 11-year-old son and 9-year-old daughter — know how much we love them.

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

It took a little heat to make our pool "cool"

Our 30-year-old home came with a pool and in the nearly six years we've lived in the house, we've only been in the pool a dozen times. This sounds a bit insane, I know, but the pool is located under a canopy of trees and it never gets much warmer than 75 degrees. It's not at all relaxing or refreshing, it's just really cold.

Two years ago, we decided we'd purchase a new liner and this year we were facing the facts: if we were ever going to use this pool, we were going to have to heat it. So we did some research online and ultimately decided on a state-of-the-art heater by Hayward. On top of buying the heater, there's the install which we did ourselves (my husband, his dad and brother-in-law) as well as buying or renting a propane tank which we chose to rent from Galway Co-op.

This past weekend was the first time outside of last weekend's kid pool party that we truly enjoyed the pool as a family. At a toasty 88 degrees our pool is down right pleasant. We floated, swam and I even did a few fancy dives off the board. It had been a while, but it's one of those things like riding a bike. They weren't world class dives, but my young son was pretty impressed. Heck, he can't even swim yet. Or, so I thought...

Our son started out the season a bit timid and unsure of his abilities which is not such a bad thing when you're attempting to teach swimming and pool safety all at once. He clung to me and my husband and kept a close eye on the steps in the shallow end. But as Saturday turned to Sunday evening something "clicked" for him. With just his Aqua Jogger Junior on he began to move around the pool without a float or noodle as a safety net. Then came the sudden realization that he was actually swimming for the first time! "I'm swimming, daddy". "Look mommy, I'm s-w-i-m-m-i-n-g!". It was wonderful to see his confidence emerge. He listened intently to my instructions "use your scoops", "kick your feet" and "keep your chin up". My husband passed on key safety rules from the basics like "no running" to more complex concepts like "Yell H-E-L-P if you feel unsafe" and stay in the shallow end "near the house".

With the progress he made in one weekend, we're hopeful we'll have a little swimmer by the end of the summer. And my husband and I both commented that for the first time since we've lived here the pool was fun for us, too, as we took turns on our new "noodle chair" and other adult-sized floats.

Ah, summertime - which those of us who live here in Upstate New York know is made up of fleeting moments sandwiched between Memorial Day and Labor Day. The smart ones among us make these moments count. I've learned that when you're not freezing your butt off, it's easy to look smart.

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