Monday, October 29, 2012

Plastic Pools and Dating

Ahhhh.. the dating pool. Not really a pool here. More like one of those kiddie pools you see on sale at the store when it's 110º out, and your kids' eyes well up with hopes and dreams of splashing about, and they are small enough to actually enjoy it. So you fork over the $13 bucks at Walmart and take it home, pick a spot on the lawn (soon dead), fill that sucker up and let the fun times begin.

Two hours pass — from purchase to playtime — the hose doing its best to keep on task. To fill, slowly, gallon by gallon. The kids wait and wait and wait in the in their bathing suits, and they're out in the baking sun. You passed on sunscreen, what with the new pool and all. Why put sunscreen on your kids when it's coming right off with the first big splash. Lord, it's hot out today.

"We're hot! When can we get in, daddy?"

"Be patient! It's almost ready. Don't you know that waiting for things is the best part?"

"Why isn't it going faster, daddy?"

"Because! It's just not! It's going as fast as it can!"

The waterline rises, millimeter by millimeter. Painful to look at, really. You wonder how much bigger your water bill will be because of this stupid pool. This pathetic, plastic, fake pool.

The waiting ends. The thrill returns.

"Okay, kids, get in. I'm grabbing the camera. This is gonna be so much fun!!" You leave them and they are indeed giddy. That mental picture levitates you into the house. You're a good parent; your kids are happy. Fun awaits.

You bound back outside again, they stand there shivering like cartoon skeletons, their little bones rattling, and their lips quivering in a state of pre-shock.

"Get in there, you little brats!"

"It's too cold, daddy!"

"The hell it is!! Get your sorry butts in that pool!" And then tears. Despair. Crying.

"I hate you, daddy!"

Fatherhood is punctuated by long heavy sighs.

If you read this far, there is a parallel in this story. Something about expectations and reality.