Where Is the Lifeguard?

 Summer camps have started at the Y, which reminds me of this conversation with Y campers last December . . .

Where Is the Lifeguard?

   (conversation remembered by storyteller Mary Garrett)

Water Fun and Fitness at the Y

Adult: Children, sit down here please.  We can’t go in the pool yet.

Camper: Why can’t we go in the pool?

A: There’s no lifeguard.

C: Where is the lifeguard?

A: I don’t know.   Do you think she’s lost?

C: No!

A: Do you think the Grinch took her?

C: No.  Santa took her!!

A: Why?

C: To teach the reindeer and polar bears to swim!

A: Why?

C: The ice is melting!  They have to learn to swim.

A: But we need her.  Let’s all say together: Santa, we need our lifeguard, bring her back!

C: We can’t say that.

A: Why not?

C: It’s rude to talk to Santa that way.

A: Oh, how about, “Santa, please bring our lifeguard back.  We need her.”

C: Yes!  Santa, please bring our lifeguard back.  We need her.

A: Who’s coming?  a lifeguard?

C: Yay, we can go swimming!!!   Thanks, Santa!!

*One day near Christmas the day campers at the Y came to the pool for their swim, but the assigned lifeguard had not arrived.  Swimming is only allowed with a certified lifeguard on duty, so  the children waited, as patiently as they could, and wondered where there lifeguard was.  This was the conversation, and the children’s imagination created a dialogue that stayed with me . . .

The director of the aquatics programs left her other work, changed clothes, and filled in until a new lifeguard arrived.  Thanks, Joyce!


Mary Garrett      http://www.storytellermary.com


1 Comment (+add yours?)

  1. storytellermary
    Nov 25, 2018 @ 11:35:39

    More of the story:
    Mary Garrett The “fun club” kids couldn’t get into the pool unless there were two lifeguards on duty, so we put out the word that we only had one . . . . and waited . . . . and waited. Our aqua-aerobics class was over, but I can never resist little children in need of distraction, so after I delivered the message for the on-duty lifeguard (who of course could not leave her station), I enlisted the waiting children to help solve the mystery of the missing lifeguard. Did the Griinch take her? NOOOOO Did the Abominable Snowman take her? NOOOOOO Then who did?
    SANTA!!! Why would he do that?

    The children spun the most amazing yarn — the North Pole is melting (you knew that, right?) and the lifeguard was needed because the reindeer can’t swim, and the polar bears needed some lesson too because their ice is melting. . . . and some of those melted ice caps are in our pool, which is why it’s so cold.

    I tried calling for Santa to bring the lifeguard back, but they told me I hadn’t asked nicely enough, so I tried again, “Santa, we love you. Please bring our lifeguard back. We need her,” the the children joined in.

    I thought about going on my way, but I had become their ally in the search for the lifeguard, so I couldn’t leave them until . . . . Wonder Woman Joyce, our fitness director, came back, having changed from business attire to lifeguard clothing — YES!!! I made sure the children knew how absolutely special that was, and how important they were . . . and then left for my shower, dry clothing, and COFFEE!!!

    Fun is everywhere! Yesterday at Borders I helped a fussy youngster, Emma, sing and act out “Itsy Bitsy Spider” to pass time in line. (When they’re that little, they actually think I can sing 😉

    Mel Davenport You can make the most joyful noise I have ever heard!
    I love you, Mary!! Happy Thanksgiving!

    Mary Garrett I love you guys!! I think these children disprove those who think electronics have killed off imagination — this story just spilled up out of a few minutes of “wait time.”
    BTW, the aqua-aerobics class applauded me today for leading the class while Phyllis was gone. There is much love in this world!


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: