The genesis of “To the Pool” was an anecdote I heard from one of my mother’s friends. I was listening in on their Friday Coffee Group, as they call it, and Kathy told everyone a story about an argument she’d had with her teenage daughter. I think the reason her story stuck with me is that I knew she had recently lost her husband to cancer, and I found myself thinking about her story in light of that loss. About a year after hearing Kathy’s story, I scribbled down the first draft of “To the Pool.” The specifics in the story are different than those in the real-life version, but the core event is the same: mom and teenage daughter, having recently lost their husband/dad, get into it over the daughter’s plans to go to the local pool with her friends, and the fight ends with unintended hilarity. I made up the other details, like the brothers and the memories of the husband/dad. Then I sanded the thing down in a bunch of drafts until it sounded right (a writer-friend helped me with this process) and plucked up the nerve to send it out.