The other day at the swimming pool I witnessed an older woman in her sixties, belittling and yelling at a twenty-something year old lifeguard for doing his job. This young man held his composure relatively well considering this woman’s friend or sister joined in, followed by what I believe was her 30 year-old-daughter. The three women were upset that the lifeguard was enforcing the rules of the YMCA pool. Yes, you read that correctly, enforcing the rules; the rules that are clearly stated, in bold, black print on the wall… actually, on every wall. Among the three of them, there were seven kids, all under the age of 8 I would guess. The wall clearly states that if an adult has more than one child under the age of ten who has not passed the “swim test”, all kids must be in a life jacket, and the supervising adult must be in the water within reach of the children. Simple enough right?
Apparently, the oldest boy was too cool for life jackets. Apparently, these women didn’t come to the pool to swim with the children, and “didn’t want to mess up their hair”.
No judgements here ladies, but it’s most certainly not the life guards fault that you raised an entitled brat, and you mistook a trip to the YMCA rec pool for a spa day.
I don’t care how excited Evie is to swim, if that biotch doesn’t want to put on a life jacket, after I’ve told her she has to, she will hang out on the bench while I splash around in the pool by myself. I will make up a solo synchronized swim routine (yes, solo synchronized), I will jump up out of the water like a beautiful orca whale and crash back into the water. I will wave as I skim through the water like a majestic mermaid. I will stand on the edge of the child slide and yell “I’m flying, Jack!” portraying my best Rose from Titanic. My face will read act like an entitled Bitch, and momma will act a fool to embarrass you that much more.
The pool is one of life’s most dangerous playgrounds. Even if you are paying attention, horrible accidents can happen. I don’t go to the pool to relax. Previous generations of moms were a lot more cavalier with this topic, much like a lot of other safety subjects. If I hear one more person say “we survived, so it couldn’t have been that bad,” I will probably rip out my hair.
Sure, you did. You survived. We survived.
A lot of others didn’t. Isn’t that enough of a reason for you to shut your mouth? Even if just one kid didn’t survive? Even if their was just a sliver of a chance that your child would slip under that water without the lifeguard seeing? That’s not worth the risk of getting your hair wet? That’s not worth the argument with your son to put on a damn life jacket?
“Are you just trying to ruin our day?”
That’s what the woman had to say to the lifeguard, when he again had to ask one of the woman to get closer to the children near the whirpool.
Are you just trying to ruin our day?
What the hell makes you think this guy woke up today and said, You know, I chose to be a lifeguard just so I could ruin family pool day. I’m gonna make this family’s day at the pool awful.
Isn’t it far more likely that he woke up, pretty terrified that he had to spend another day at work, carefully scanning the pool full of children, to make sure that no one was under water for just a little too long. He had to listen to the screams that echoed in that whitewalled room and know which ones are fun, and which ones are really cries for help. When all is said and done, if any of those women, or any of those children who had given him such a hard time had fallen under that water, he would have saved you. He didn’t have the choice to let you sink underneath. Even with how awful you had treated him, he would have saved you all.
The girls and I stayed off to the shallow sides away from “the splashies” that would melt Evie’s face off. As the lifeguard made his circles around the pool, I watched how he went from confident and smilling, to broken and defeated. He approached our area of the pool and I looked him in the eye and said, “You’re doing a really great job, thank you.”
This isn’t a post to toot my own horn, although in this case, Toot Toot; I’m posting this to remind myself, and everyone else of the power we have over other people. We have the power to influence everyone around us. We can either thank someone, or criticize. We can encourage the lifeguard as I did, or we can mutter mean things “under our breath” that are clearly heard by everyone. We can be patient with the barista struggling to get the coffee orders right. We can be patient with the register boy who doesn’t know how to complete the return. We can follow the rules of the pool and not blame the person who happens to be on that shift. The world doesn’t relovlve around our single needs and wants. My day, is just as important as her day. My time is just as valuable as his time.
I saw a young man who chose to be a lifeguard. I saw in his face, actions, and words, that this is a job he took seriously; as he should. I’ll never understand how someone could be critical of a person who’s simply trying to keep my child alive. That is their sole purpose. In my opinion, that automatically makes you a great person, worthy of a compliment and thank you.
Don’t be a dick-wod today, and just say thank you.
Song of the day: