I love the mountains. Floating down rivers is pure joy. There is indescribable beauty in the desert. The hills exude mystery. I've experienced geographic diversity through globe trotting and excessive relocation. With that, I am confident in claiming the beach is the best. When my feet sink into the sand and the waves lap up on to the shore I feel like my soul is saved (a little bit).
I live at the beach. It's not the prettiest beach, it's certainly not the safest beach (hello riptide). And frankly, right now, it sucks. It's just too hot. Even when I wear shoes, I can't walk the 100 or so feet from the malecon to the shore break. The sun beats down, the hot little bits make me think I'm fucking crazy for ever thinking that sand-between-my-toes-soul-saving nonsense. There's no frolicking in the surf. There's no frisbee tossing. There's no castle building. There is only avoidance.
There are pools.
Thank sweet baby Jesus there are pools.
I'm going to go ahead and call myself a pool connoisseur (also known as a pool rat). I grew up spending my summer at the pool. And even though I love the beach, the pool has this intimate air about it that the beach just can't touch. Pool time is private time and the beach is public free for all. That refreshing gasp, the full body shock you feel when you dive into a cold pool on a hot day - the beach ain't got nothing like that. Around here, there the pools are at people's homes, you've got to have a key or an invite just to dip your toe.
I was a pool rat growing up. I was on the swim team so practice was at 8 and I stayed at the pool until dark. Friends of ours from the states recently visited and their 12-year-old daughter entertained herself in the pool for hours. Watching her was like watching my 12-year-old self diving for coins and splashing sunbathers while oblivious to the permanent google marks around my eyes. She reminded me that the summer by the pool is an integral part of an American childhood. And while I'm super excited about of raising my daughter at the beach in this Mexican life, there are parts of being a kid in America I don't want her to miss. So no, she's not going to have lifeguards hollering at her to slow down and we won't enforce the 30-minute rule, but she is going to know the joy of pools.