I was in a particularly good mood the other day and wanted to reward my daughters for being my daughters. We threw out the soft sided pool that they had last year because it had cracked and frayed in the hot, Texas heat. So when I thought of something that was not wasteful or would be destroyed in no time at all, a large plastic pool – preferably one with the little slide – seemed like the perfect solution and still gave my girls that little gift that I was in the mood to reward!
I picked up the two girls that were in school and headed to Walmart. I had spotted the perfect pool out on their sidewalk the week before. Blue with red and purple trunked alligators, it had a slide but was not so deep that I had to worry about my kids not being able to stand up.
Seeing as I have yet to be able to make a deal on a Suburban – it’s been a month, come down on the price people – I am still in my trusty minivan. And everything I have tried to get into it before has fit. Three kids and their three carseats, a double stroller, a triple stroller, groceries for a month and so on. Surely, a little blue pool with the red and purple tanked alligators and the slide would fit easily inside. Especially since a second row seat was out.
We get to the store and I pay – almost sight unseen – for the blue pool with the red and purple trunked alligators. I buckle my kids into the car and pull around to the curb where a very nice young man has offered to help me load the pool.
The very large blue pool with the red and purple trunked alligators that would not even fit in the hatch, much less the interior of the car.
Standing there dumbfounded – because surely an unbending plastic pool with a circumference of 6′ should fit into a three foot opening that leads to a space that is 4′ wide – I try to think on my feet. Not my strong suit.
After a minute the very nice man offers to go into the store and buy me some rope so that he can use his fishing knot skills and tie it to the top of the van. In the six years that I have owned this car, nothing has been tied to the top. Impressed by this novel idea I wait out with the kids while the rope is purchased.
And then the nice man and I spend a good 20 minutes tying the pool to the top of the van. Open side down. With thin rope. And fishing knots. I head out convinced that if I drive slow, I’ll make it the 15 miles home. On a windy day.
I get about 2 miles down the road and the pool falls off the roof.
I sit for a second finding myself once again dumbfounded. How did that not work? A round pool tied to a roof with rope? With fishing knots? Surely that should have been secure.
Deciding that the unbendable pool would have to bend – even if it meant breaking – I got out of the car leaving three chattering girls talking over one another about how mommy made the pool fall off the roof – I SO did NOT! – and rounded the car to see the pool, one part of the rope still attached, laying next to the van.
I need a Suburban.
Taking a deep breath, I open the sliding door to expose three excited little girls and my 4′ space. I start to pull the pool up and cram it in – there is no way in jelly beans this is going to fit – and I hear Sarah say, “Look Mom, it’s Miss April!”
Trying to explain to her that it is impossible for our wonderful neighbor, Miss April, to be anywhere near us at this time as she was on her way home from work from the other side of town, I hear, “LORI!”
I turn around to see my neighbor running full speed ahead. Shaking my head in disbelief, I am struck by how incredibly odd this is! She works an hour from our neighborhood, comes home a different way than where I was, and is usually about ready to run one of her boys somewhere at this time. Surely she was not on this busy road during rush hour watching my moment of incredibly genius unfold for all rubberneckers to see?
But it was her. And even more importantly, it was her and her empty SUV.
Still totally baffled at how incredibly this was all unfolding I help her cram the pool – which bends slightly, after all – into the back of her SUV. And say a little prayer to God above for sending me my little Guardian April!
So in response to the question, “How many moms does it take to bring a little blue pool with red and purple trunked alligators and a slide home to my girls?” The answer is two.
And an SUV.
**Originally published 5/3/2012**