We live in Gilbert, Arizona and didn’t have a pool for 8 years. This wasn’t really a problem, per se. An inconvenience, absolutely. A problem? No, well not until 2020.
The beginning of March looked polar opposite of the end of March. I realized we took that village we were so accustomed to helping us raise our families totally for granted when we lost it all and were fending for ourselves and maybe even questioning the amount of children we had (totally kidding), but seriously… I was trying to cope with it all myself while trying to encourage our kids that this is all temporary.
I was trying to keep them engaged and doing their school work, all the while wanting to kick and scream at all I had taken away. The place we were in wasn’t fun. It wasn’t fun for any of us.
I just thought.. if only we had a pool. Why didn’t we build a pool with this house? Why didn’t I know ahead of time we would all be quarantined at home and a pool would be our only saving grace?
Our community center had a pool…but we couldn’t use it. Our friends had pools…but we couldn’t see them.
The dream for a pool started to turn into an obsession.
I am a
cheap frugal mama. A pool is a big investment.
My sanity was also on the line and with all 5 kids at home with nowhere to go.
So, for the tug of war between our wallet and my sanity, my sanity won, and I started making phone calls.
Apparently, a lot of other folks were making calls, too, because it took a month to get someone out. And that is the one who actually called me back. I knew who we wanted to go with because they came with a referral from some close budget-savvy friends, as well as several other people we asked.
When we met them I know we would choose them because their pricing was within our budget (small) and it was a family-run business with the dad still working. Plus, he reminded me of my dad, so of course, we went with them.
Now I am not writing about how to build a pool because I am pretty sure saying things like “we went with this guy because he reminded me of my dad” would not be the most reliable resource on the internet, I’m just saying that’s how I work.
We had many suggest we build it ourselves and maybe in another year I could have. Maybe in another pandemic. But not this one. I didn’t have the bandwidth in me to make those kinds of calls, decisions, and scheduling.
My husband works 24-hour shifts every other day. He would not have been able to handle the build while working his schedule and knowing my own capabilities, I was not about to man a construction project while crying over math with my son because neither of us knew how to convert measurements.
So we hired the company and started the greatest project our family has ever been experienced.
Like I mentioned, we had a budget to work with and we weren’t going fancy. I actually just needed a hole our kids could swim their energy away in and a place I could retreat to for a literal cool off. So all the gorgeous water features like waterfalls and slides were off the table, but we were able to get the one thing I had to have and that was a large Baja step and several umbrella sleeves.
I also wanted a rectangle, but we learned that too was more pricey (who knew?) but we were able to get away with several straight lines and right angles which was more aesthetically pleasing to my eyes.
My husband wanted a little more done with our landscaping so I let him take that chore on and our backyard got a total makeover!
The pool digging was on July 8th and we jumped in as a family on August 24th! The process was so fun to watch.
The kids learned a little something about patience and how not everything is ordered and delivered to your doorstep the next day.
We watched the process step by step and documented it along the way and although the summer is practically over, it is Arizona, so we know we can swim a lot more of the months than we can’t.
Our video game-loving 6th grader is outside swimming several times a day, the little ones swim hard and sleep hard every night. Our teenager had a few friends over for the first time in forever because we have a fun backyard to host a small gathering in.
And probably the best part is our special needs daughter loves to float and relax in it!
This one thing (albeit big thing) has unified our family in ways I never imagined for kids ranging for 18-4 would!
I feel pretty safe to say the pool is the best thing to happen to our family in 2020.