As summer rolls around, it’s with both excitement and heartbreak that I think about venturing to our community pool.

You see, when I suggest throwing on our bathing suits, two out of my three kids carry on as if I’m asking them to sponge bathe an elderly neighbor. (Perhaps you’ve heard their groaning at your house?) Meanwhile, this aquatic center is a veritable suburban sanctuary, a clear blue oasis where laughter and the smell of funnel cake greet you before you’ve set a single flip-flop outside your mini-van.

So why, when I come up from the basement with our freshly-packed pool bag, do they reel back in horror as if I’m Pennywise emerging from a sewer? It’s not like I’m cannonballing off the high dive in a bathing cap and thong, why is the thought of accompanying me to this nearby paradise so unappealing?

I get that they’re 16 and 12 and I’m a middle-age woman stumbling around in an unhip cover-up I’ve had since the first Obama administration ranting about sunscreen, but still, what’s wrong with getting a little fresh air and sunshine?

From what I hear, I’m not alone. It seems once kids turn double digits, chlorine becomes their kryptonite. Still, I can’t help but feel as if mine are taking their distaste to new heights.

The following are things I imagine my kids would rather do than accompany me to the town pool:

1. Catch the fruit flies that swarm above our overripe banana collection.
2. Clean out the dryer’s lint trap with their tongues.
3. Attempt to toilet train the cat.
4. Cut the grass with toenail clippers.
5. Fashion hair extensions out of dental floss.
6. Feign crippling diarrhea.
7. Stand in front of the open freezer door and whine.
8. Sweat like pigs-in-a-blanket fresh out of a convection oven.
9. Deny that it’s even remotely warm outside while pressing bags of frozen vegetables to their foreheads.
10. Perfect texting with their toes so their hands never leave those precious X-box controllers.
11. Investigate Blockchain to revolutionize lemonade stand sales.

It’s disappointing, but I’m prepared for it this summer. I’m fortunate to still have my agreeable 11-year-old— at least until he ditches me for a ‘Family Feud’ marathon.
Liz Alterman is a mom of three who enjoys baking, gardening, and making fun of reality television. You can read more about her adventures in unemployment and under-achieving at or follow her on Twitter @LizAlterman.


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