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Wishes can come true….

May 14, 2010

There once was a boy who had a wish.

He wished he could swim in his own backyard.  So he told his brothers of his wish to swim in the backyard.

They agreed that swimming in the backyard would be grand.  However, they asked Nick how that could happen as there was no pool in the backyard and Mom and Dad seriously frowned on digging holes in the yard.  Mitchell also pointed out that getting water into the backyard would also prove difficult since they had broken the faucet in the backyard years before and Daddy had turned off the water instead of fixing the plumbing.  (Now, to explain, Daddy had fixed the plumbing several times before deciding it was cheaper to leave it off since the boys couldn’t seem to stay away from the faucet.)  So, what were the boys going to do to get Nick’s wish fulfilled?

They asked Nana, Papa and Great-Gram about a pool.  All three thought it would be nice for the boys, but they offered no solution.  The boys tried to dig a hole for a pool, but Dad got upset and made them fill the hole back in (fortunately, they didn’t get very deep).  When questioned why they were digging yet another hole in the yard they explained, “Nick wants a pool.  So do we, it’d be so much fun!”  Mom and Dad explained we couldn’t afford one, but maybe one day we could.

For years, now many people had suggested to Mom that she check into getting Nick a wish granted from Make-A-Wish.  Mom always hesitated because she thought Make-A-Wish only granted wishes to children who had life threatening illnesses and she didn’t feel Nick’s Down Syndrome was life threatening.  After hearing from friends who had children with other disabilities that were more life-altering than life-threatening, Mom decided to check and see if Nick qualified.

Make-A-Wish now has parents submit their child for a wish.  The parent provides Make-A-Wish with the child’s diagnosis and the child’s physician’s name.  The physician then determines if the child’s diagnosis will meet Make-A-Wish’s qualifications.  I submitted Nick’s name and his physician’s name and then life went on.  (I didn’t mention any of this to Nick, because I wasn’t certain he would receive a wish.)  Several months later, I received a phone call saying Nick was being granted a wish.  I told them as much as the family would probably enjoy a trip to Disney (as so many children have that wish), that for our family, it would be best if Nick’s wish of a pool of his own to swim in be granted.  As I explained, Disney is a one-shot wonder for many families and if Nick would have a melt-down (or worse his parents from stress) it wouldn’t be a pleasant memory, but a pool would be something everyone could enjoy for years to come.  So, they explained the process and a pool would be delivered.

In late April, we received the phone call that Scott from The Pool Installers was ready to start installing the pool.   It was a little early, but if we waited too long, Scott would be too busy to do it.  So, the day arrived and the first task was to remove a ton of dirt and level the area where the pool would go.

After the area was leveled, the frame work went up:                        Then the liner and the water:

And more water:                                                         Nick began wonder just how long it would take:

Once the water was in the pool, Scott and his team came back to build a deck.  The boys were excited because they got to help by handing Scott and his team what they needed.

With the deck complete, only one thing remained for Scott’s team to complete:  the heater which would allow Nick to swim (two extra months, according to Scott’s Dad at Family Pools) in water warm enough to help his muscle control.  Once Scott completed that he wished us well and was gone.

The following Saturday the boys and Mom put together two deck benches (to hold pool toys and pool equipment).  Nick’s an excellent boss (loves to tell others what to do), but not so much a helper, thankfully Zachary is an excellent little helper.  After the deck benches were put together the boys begged to be allowed to swim (I forgot to take pictures of that) since it was 80* out that day.  So, everyone got in and splashed and played while Mom and Dad tried to vacuum the pool.  I guess we looked like we were having too much fun because later that evening Max (golden retriever) decided to try out the pool.  Unfortunately, that wasn’t the smartest idea that dog has had.  Fortunately, he didn’t drown (we’d put the solar cover on so the possibility of getting trapped under it was high).  Unfortunately, he put a hole in the pool liner which we didn’t discover for a few days (thanks to all the rain we had). By the time we discovered the hole several gallons of water had drained out.

Found out the hole was patchable, so off to Family Pools Jeff and I went to get a patch kit.  We patched the hole and refilled the pool.  Then the rains and cool weather set in — so no swimming.  We decided we needed a clean area between the two decks to keep mud from being tracked into the pool.  To that end, we decided to frame off the area and fill it with pea gravel (and eventually we’ll made a stepping stone path as well).

I’ll post more tomorrow on our progress of creating the clean area.  Thirty-three bags of pea gravel wasn’t enough — we needed more.

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