It’s mid-summer already and our community’s pool drama is in full swing. Every year I write about parents who send their kid off to the community pool unattended, and it seems like every year it keeps getting worse.
Our community’s pools underwent a major overhaul over this past winter season. They pulled out all the concrete and poured new. They replaced all the lounge chairs and even the shower. I’m not crazy about the shower, as it’s now on a timer and shuts off right went you’re in the middle of rinsing something off.
Anyway, that’s neither here nor there, except it’s related to the pool, not the drama I want to talk about.
We’ve had a lot of trouble over the past couple years with teenagers hopping the fence. The fence that has pointy spears that bend outward at the top. A deterrent you wouldn’t find me willingly trying to vault over, not even when I was younger and more nimble. This year is the first year that I’ve seen it first hand… and it was when I was kickboarding with no ear plugs or goggles, so I know it wasn’t a figment of my overactive imagination.
Thump, clang, clang, and there they were. The kid hoisted himself over and then let his girlfriend in. They seemed a bit startled to see me. Not surprising since the timer on the pool light was off, so it was unlit and I was swimming in the dark. He claimed they lived there and his dad lost the pool key. I responded that it was an odd way for him to gain entrance to the pool. It happened again a couple nights later, and I called the sheriff on them after I left.
My neighbor claimed they did it again in front of her in broad daylight, and then when she confronted them, they got violent and ran their car into a community streetlight. What point that proves, I have no idea. But it must have made sense to them, right?
So it happened that over the weekend Tony and William were on their way to Walmart. I asked him to drive by the pool and if it was full of kids to come back and get me. I’d rather go to Walmart than try to lap swim in a pool full of kids. If it were all clear, though, I’d go swimming. He texted me and told me to call the Sheriff, that those teenagers were in the pool area, that they’d hopped the fence right as he was driving by. When he told them they needed a key for entry, they got confrontational, So, I called the Sheriff. I headed down the pool intending to act like I knew nothing, except the pool area was empty and there were two teenage boys walking around the toddler playground next to the pool.
The Sheriff showed up, took a look around, and informed me that even if there had been someone unauthorized in the pool area, there was nothing for him to enforce … he needed a “No Trespassing” sign and a “Key required for pool entry” sign posted on the gate. Funny no one had ever mentioned that in all the years past, but kind of makes sense I guess. Meanwhile, the two teenage boys had meandered off out of sight.
My neighbor then comes in with one of the teenage boys and introduces him to me as a neighbor who lives on the corner of her street. Suspiciously I look at him and ask him if he hopped the fence a half hour ago. “No, we thought about it but decided not to.” Hmmm. I asked him if he got confrontational with someone, “Well, my cousin did but he’s kind of a hothead.” My neighbor leaves, and then enters this kid’s “hothead cousin.” They go sit in the spa together and stare at me as I swim my laps.
Shortly after that, their mother comes in and talks to them. After a few minutes, she comes to the side of the pool and it’s obvious she wants to talk to me. I could have kept swimming, I suppose, but she was just this side of annoying, so I stop my workout, pull out my earplugs and ask her if I can help her.
She wanted to discuss the fact that my husband had confronted her darling son and nephew. To me, there was nothing to discuss. You break the rules (hopping the fence and getting confrontational with someone), you get the Sheriff called on you. End of discussion. She claimed my husband said the “F” word to the boys. I know Tony, and even without asking him, I know that’s not his style, and certainly not with a Toddler who parrots everything we say in the vicinity. So I told her that wasn’t true. She started to argue with me, and I shrugged and said, “Look. You’re going to believe your teenagers, who have already proven themselves to be untrustworthy, and I’m going to believe my husband.” She said, “I’ve lived in this community now for 9 years…” I interrupted and said, “Good for you. Then you know very well that we’ve had issues with security here, and you also know that a key is required for entry. That’s the rule. You hop the fence, the sheriff gets called.” I continued, without waiting for a response, “There’s nothing further to be discussed here. I’m on a limited time schedule and I’m going to finish my swim.” She waves her hand at me and the path I was swimming, and instead of apologizing for wasting my time, she says smartly, “OK, well, go ahead then.” I pause, look at her and say, “You misunderstood. I wasn’t asking your permission.” I put my earplugs in and continued my swim.
She left the pool area shortly after, leaving the two kids alone in there with me. So, now I know why her son and nephew think nothing of breaking the rules. Also, why they think it’s OK to get confrontational when they’ve done something wrong.
Also, even though I donned a crazy, mismatched swimsuit last night (a pink paisley swim top and blue Hawaiian flowered board shorts) I was glad for the 11 people who filed into the pool area at 9:15pm. I kind of don’t like being alone now when I swim late at night.