The pools are officially open and resplendent with young lifeguards swinging their whistles.
Every year, I watch these toned and low BMI individuals and think that this whole lifeguard thing could be vastly improved by the implementation of “Middle Aged Mom Guards.”
Think about it, there is just so much these teenaged guards don’t know. To make pools really safe you need the varied talents that only a 40-plus mom possesses.
Oh please, don’t even try to think for one second a mom couldn’t handle the physical rigors of saving a life. Back in the day, when I was a lifeguard we didn’t have the whole red rescue tube of it all. We jumped in with nothing but our American Red Cross certification badge (sewn to our swimsuit by our mother) to grab a kid or drunk dad from the jaws of death.
Plus, there’s hardly a mom out there who hasn’t, with one hand, subdued and buckled a toddler having a tantrum into a car seat all while holding an infant and maybe a Diet Coke with her other hand. All this means we’ve got the mad skills to wrestle and rescue a panicking swimmer who may try to drown us in the process. That’s what the red tube is for by the way. It’s a throw-and-go so your rescuee doesn’t take you down to the bottom of the pool.
But saving lives would be the least of what a Middle Aged Mom Guard (all while wearing a swim skirt, of course) would bring to the water. Her skills would be far reaching.
On-site dermatologist referral: Trust me, I am not the only mom who has spent hours at the pool or waterpark thinking, “Wow, that person really needs to get their moles checked.” We are experts in the ABCDE of mole screening. You know: asymmetry, border, color, diameter and evolving. I see Mom Guards as first-responders in the fight against skin cancer. We would also fearlessly approach teenage girls practicing the solar self-abuse ritual known as tanning and give them a SPF 100 spraydown, all while scolding them for being idiots.
Family therapist: When the misguided dad tries to force his young child to go off the high dive or do the altitude-enhanced water slide, the Middle Aged Mom Guard would gently intervene. She will explain to the parent that at best he will give the child night terrors or a regression back into a pull-up diaper and at worst the kid is going to have trust issues that will manifest in the teen years and result in underage drinking and a prescription drug problem. In other words, it’s just not worth it. Leave the kid alone, relax and realize that maybe not this summer, but some summer, your child will jump off the high dive.
Mom shaming: No teenager could handle this job. It’s sort of like wrestling a hungry grizzly. Middle Aged Mom Guards would approach the mothers who think the phrase “it takes a village” applies to the pool and re-educate them on the realities of swimming safety. We all know these mothers. The ones that put a pair of floaties on their toddler and then stretch out on a lawn chair or become enraptured with their phone as their kid sets sail to the deep end. Then there are the ones who drop off six kids at the pool all under the age of 10 and think it’s OK for them to fend for themselves for eight hours because, “Hey, the lifeguard is like a babysitter, right?”
The Mom Guard would corral, lasso, round up (insert livestock term of your choice) these parents and deliver in a no-nonsense tone that they’re stinking it up in the keeping-your-kid-alive department and need to pull their head out before one of their children drown.
Swimsuit police: Who better than Middle Aged Mom Guards to lead the fight against butt crack? Ever vigilant and not afraid to tell a 15 year-old boy to pull the drawstring on his swim trunks a whole lot tighter — this job was made for a mother. If anyone else told a teen, mom or dad that they were showing a little too much cheek in a public venue or that they might want to consider getting their swimsuit top lined or at the very least going up a size, it would be creepy. But from a mom it just sounds right.
If any local pool is interested in creating this position, call me. Never let it be said that I wasn’t committed to the greater good of society. I’ve got my swim skirt and SPF 70 on standby.
Freelancer Sherry Kuehl of Leawood writes Snarky in the Suburbs in 913 each week. You can follow her on Facebook at Snarky in the Suburbs, twitter @snarkynsuburbs and read her blog at snarkyinthesuburbs.com. She’s also written a book Snarky in the Suburbs Back to School.