To the Lifeguard

Yesterday was the last day of school for my two daughters, which means today was their Official First Day of Summer.

Even though I haven’t always lived in the warm climes of Texas, when I think of Summer, I always think: Pool.

I grew up in Michigan, Colorado and Virginia, and I have fond memories of each of the pools in each of those places. Perhaps my favorite was the base pool at Fort Carson, Colorado. I spent four pre-teen and teenage summers whiling away the hours there, slathering on baby oil and listening to disco and David Soul blare from the snack stand.

This year, instead of attending a series of day camps, my daughters will have a mostly free-range summer. We live a few blocks from a public pool, which is just around the corner from a cool little coffee shop and bakery, a grocery store, and a groovy gelato joint. My plan is to let them hang at the pool as much as possible, with only their bikes or their feet to get them around the ‘hood.

I’m hoping my daughters will enjoy their unstructured time as much as I enjoyed my girlhood summers, with nary a care in the world — other than wondering when is this darn swim break going to be over?!!!


            To the Lifeguard

Before we can swim again, splash again
Before we can dip again, dash again

Before we can punch the water with cannonballs
Or try to stay under the longest of all

Before we can play again, spray again
Before we can squirt and submerge again

Before we can dance our liquidly lovely ballet
Or “Marco” and “Polo” the day away

Before we can float again, flop again
Before we can drip, drip, drip, drop again

Before we can stand on our hands spouting fountains of feet
Or meet underneath for a tea party treat

Before we can down, down, down, dive again
Before we feel cool and alive again


have to blow

the whistle.


©2011 Carlotta Eike Stankiewicz


7 thoughts on “To the Lifeguard

  1. I love your plans for your daughters’ summer! Free range is the WTG. Unfortunately, I work full time, so it’s camp, camp, and more camp for my son. I so wish he could have the kind of experience you describe!

  2. Thanks, all, for your comments! Glad to be able to share my memories. Summer is such a magical time for kid, isn’t it?

    . Thanks especially to Milo – what a nice compliment! I was purty darn pleased when that one came to me….!

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