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Letter to a Lifeguard

A Fictional Letter to the Lifeguard From Moms of 8-Year-Olds Everywhere

Hannah Mayer is a nationally award-winning blogger, humor columnist and exponentially blessed wife and mother of three. The following post is a work of satire and not meant to be taken seriously.

Dear Lifeguard,

As you have probably noticed, this is the first Summer that all three of my children are able to swim independently. It may have been obvious by the fact that we're all lined up like teenagers at a Rolling Stones concert waiting for the front pool gates to open, or by the stack of gossip magazines and discarded single-serve plastic bottles of RumChata littered around my lounge chair at closing time.

Either way, let's have a little talk.

I'm going to put it to you straight. I've put in eight long years of hard time to get to this point, and now I'm done. I'm passing the baton. It's all you, buddy.

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It's been eight years of swimming lessons. And not the cushy, fancy swimming lessons with heated pools and the ability to change clothes without an audience, either. It's been wet naked me chasing wet naked toddlers through a maze of wet naked wrinkled flesh in the arctic YMCA locker room questioning my life choices and reminding myself that some things are better "in theory."

It's been years of lugging around that big floatie thing that doubles as a coffee table, then years of packing life jackets, then years of packing arm floaties, then years of packing all three. Do you have any idea what it's like to drag all of that crap around? I was like a real-life, walking, cursing coat rack.

And then when it came time to actually get into that godforsaken ice tray you call a pool, all four of us were attached together like a freaking chain gang, me shivering my butt off as I was more often than not caught in the crossfires of a teenage game of splash. Watching, slack-jawed and teary-eyed, the other moms on the lounge chairs who had crossed the finish line to aquatic freedom. Moms able to sit back and hold a conversation, whose kids could busy themselves searching for dive sticks and jumping off the board and going to the bathroom by themselves.

"Someday that'll be me," I whispered to my red-faced baby as I watched her grunt and fill her swim diaper to maximum capacity.

Now here's the part where you come in. I'm out. You're in. Suit up and hop off the bench, because the coach is calling you up. You are now responsible for keeping my children alive so that they can one day repay my eight years of favors by wiping my ass in the nursing home.

You, yes, you — the barely teenager making minimum wage wearing a hemp necklace and staring into space at nothing at all, most likely mentally running through your favorite pizza toppings in order of most to least protein.

Listen — it took a lot of blood, sweat, and nipples capable of cutting glass for me to get them out of floaties and onto the diving board. I've earned my spot in this lounge chair with my book three times over. One of us is going to have to be responsible for my kids in that pool, and it's not going to be me. Imma be super busy over here reading my rags and sunning my mams.

So please, pretty please with sugar on top — look alive. Like, literally. The majority of the time you're up there, I wonder if I need to hold a mirror under that nose. We would all appreciate it if you could just, for a few hours, pretend to be interested in something other than the hotties your own age sunbathing in the corner.

Sincerely,
Moms of 8-Year-Olds Everywhere

PS It was my kid who pooped in the pool six years ago. In my defense, she had been potty trained for over 36 hours and I had no idea that the effects of canned ravioli would be so intense. Sorry about that — please don't hold it against me.

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