Author: aaron
• Tuesday, December 02nd, 2008

Holiday weekends are great. Hanging out with the family is one of my favorite things (and I’m not just saying that) but after a few days of schedule-free lounging things start to feel a bit, well… dull. That was the case for us this past Sunday. We’d just come off a great Thanksgiving celebration with the Hulet’s and enjoyed a couple days of downtime, but by Sunday we were BORED! Sarah took matters into her own hands and mandated that we would all be going swimming at the Mountlake Terrace Pool. She collected our swimming paraphernalia and we loaded into the car, all the while coaxing Joel with the promise that “we are going swimming”!

Now you have to understand that the thing about the Mountlake Terrace Pool is it’s not just your typical boxy boring indoor pool. It’s a totally decked out, hexagonally hip “Pimp-My-Pool” kind of pool. They’ve got a kid friendly Leisure Pool area, a “Lazy River” area you can float along on inner-tubes, tons of colorful water playthings. It’s cool. So cool in fact, that the woman we talked to on the phone cautioned us that we’d better show up early because it reaches capacity pretty quickly and then they can’t allow any more people in.

We arrived at 11:50 (five minutes after the start of open-swim) after getting briefly sidetracked by Google Maps not-always-so-accurate directions. Sarah unloaded Joel from the car as I ran around to the front door to make sure we got in line. Behind me I could hear Joel’s excited little voice, “we are going swimming”! I rounded the corner and was of course greeted by a bright red sign stating that the “POOL IS FULL”.

Strike one.

I returned to the car to break the bad news. Joel was not exactly, um… thrilled with the idea that we NOT in fact going swimming and had to get back in the car. In an attempt to ward off his tantrum we decided to spend a few minutes in the outdoor play area next to the pool complex. I asked him, “Joel, would you like to play on the swings?” “YEAH!”, he exclaimed. Excitedly he climbed back down from the car and jump-skipped across the parking lot (holding my hand of course) towards the play area. “I’m going to play on the swings”, he kept repeating cheerfully. We hopped the little molded-cement curb onto the soggy cedar-wood chip covered ground and beheld the kid-sized plastic play fortress before us.

No swings. Strike two.

Now this is the point I start thinking to myself “well this certainly can’t get any WORSE” and wouldn’t you know it, I’d be wrong again. As we had sort of trudged our way over to the soggy, no-swing-bearing, play forte-de-lame I glanced backwards and noticed that the building just next to us is sporting a 15 foot floor-to-ceiling glass wall through which we have a perfect view of what… yeah, you guessed it, the FILLED TO FREAKIN’ CAPACITY POOL! Happy kids and their much-more-punctual-than-us parents are frolicking about in their Wonka-esque Happy Water Play Park Land and we’re standing outside in the dismal, soggy, Thanksgiving-weekend-in-the-northwest gray “play” area with NO SWINGS. Joel shuffled wide-eyed over to the huge glass wall and held his hand up to the transparent barrier (somewhat reminiscent of the way an inmate might look longingly at the free world outside his prison window that he’ll never again get to experience), he looked up at me and said pitifully, “I want to be swimming”.

Strike three.

Shortly we were joined by several other families who had also arrived too late to be allowed into the pool. We all tried to make the best of our consolation-prize play area and for what it’s worth Joel did seem to have a good time. He really enjoys watching and playing with other kids. Here’s a shot of him “smiling” from atop the play fortress.

Next time we’re getting there early!

Category: Family  | Tags: , ,
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2 Responses

  1. Ah, the joys of parenting. Great lessons for all of us . . . I love reading the stories, Aaron . . . I hope you keep it going. Love, Dad

  1. [...] Consolation [...]