Dear Crazy Poolside Screaming Children, Thanks For The Lesson

kidsI don’t have children. I don’t understand children. Children terrify me. If you are my friend and you have children, I love them by default because they are part of you. The terror and confusion are still present though.

July 4th, 2015: I’m at the apartment complex pool and arrive early, to avoid the crowd. I am laying out in the quiet, soaking up sun in my bathing suit, with an insulated bag next to me that is holding a water bottle full of wine. A plastic cup sits on the table full of chilled wine. No glass at the pool, people. I keep it classy…and safe with plastic.

Suddenly, I hear them enter through the gate–loud children, ready to jump into the water with their floaties. I am tense and fearful, but hold my ground and hope for the best. Their parents are with them, after all.

They are playing and laughter fills the air. I can handle this.

Until one of them thinks it is funny to splash me.

Considering I am reading on my Kindle, this is not cool. NOT cool, kid. Not cool.

In all my “I’m not a mother, I don’t get kids” glory, I try to retain kindness through the situation. I smile at them and pick up my bags, wine and towel and venture to another part of the pool area. The parents are now yelling at the kids and apologizing to me for the splashing. I am quite annoyed and stop biting my tongue to force a smile and say, “Oh, it’s fine. They are kids!”

I walk to the entire other side of the pool area, behind the tables and BBQs. I have never been over to this area before. It is utterly peaceful and secluded. With a palm tree partially shading my table with chilled wine, I am next to the spa and the sun is even more present on my skin. I am content. I read, dip my toes into the spa, sip wine and relax.

I express gratitude in my mind to those children. Without their splashing, I would have never found my little chunk of paradise.

Then, a few more sips of wine in, I realize: this is a great metaphor for life!

We’re happy, then we’re not happy. And, this unhappiness leads us to look for something else until we’re happy again. And, in most cases, the search for the new happiness causes us to branch out to new territory and find places even greater that we didn’t even know existed. 

And that, my friends, made for a lovely poolside afternoon.

Thanks kids!


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  • Jeremy Watkin

    Great story, Jenny! I’ll tell you, I find myself caught in this dialog. Is it time to seek out something new or am I going to find that the grass isn’t greener on the other side? But then I guess it comes down to whether or not we can achieve contentment in our current situation or if it’s best to seek out a new situation.

    • I suppose we’ll never really know if we should stay put and try to find happiness in what we have or move forward and look for happiness elsewhere…but sometimes, you just have to try things out and see what is waiting for you out there. At least you know you can always come back 🙂

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