a moment in today

Date August 27, 2009

The summer I was fifteen I worked as a lifeguard at our small city pool.  I wanted a tan and the chance to flirt with boys that were older than me and played on the football team.  The money was average at best, but it allowed me to get my driver’s license early and go to Mamaw’s for lunch everyday.  So, I put that red bathing suit on and gave up around 57 layers of my nose to the sun that year and the ten or so after it.

The truth is, I loved it.  I loved the way scrunching up my cheeks felt when they had too much sun on them and the white color that my eyebrows turned.  I loved the T-shaped tan line across my back, the high ponytail, and the smell of chlorine that stuck to my skin.  I loved the kids that thought we were famous and the ones that spent more time on the side of the pool than in the water.  Most of all, I loved kicking off my worn flip flops at the door of the guard shack and walking barefoot on the deck.

I’d leave those shoes there and stroll around the pool before all the chaos started.  The concrete was warm and heated me from my toes up and I’d close my eyes and breathe it in.  Chlorine and concrete and Coppertone.

Those were the best few moments in my day.

I haven’t been in a red bathing suit since the summer a student told me, “Ew, Miss.  Teachers ain’t s’posed to wear no fwimsuits” but today as I watched a playground full of children at recess in Mississippi, I took off my worn flip flops.  I stood on the sun-baked concrete, closed my eyes, and breathed it in.

Children and concrete and coming home.

12 Responses to “a moment in today”

  1. sherry said:

    I imagine those trips to recess are as “painful” as mine in this Houston, Texas weather. We got a cool front…it was only 92 today! Car rider duty is the worst…I’ve got the bullhorn, least amount of clothes that is decent (jacket off; flip-flops on; watch, bracelet and any hot jewelry off). I’ve begun taking out a frozen 8 oz. bottle of water to put on my forehead, wrist, etc. while standing on that baking concrete! I’m dreaming about any temp. below 84!!!

  2. deanna said:

    I could smell the chlorine as you were describing this!

  3. Lou said:

    Enjoyed the post.

    I don’t know if I have expressed myself properly on just how much….I’M GLAD YOU ARE BACK POSTING!

  4. Anya said:

    I’ve missed you and your “writings”. And oh that pool. I really seems like so long ago!! 🙂

  5. Lindsay Nash said:

    EMILY WHATEVER-YOUR-LAST-NAME-IS-NOW. You’ve made me write in capital letters ON YOUR BLOG!!!
    Quit ignoring FMs and get on Facebook and let us know how you’re doing and most importantly whether you’ll be joining us for a beach trip.
    If you don’t, I’m gonna start replying to every post you write in CAPITAL LETTERS!!!

  6. Blake said:

    I’ve missed you around here. Good to get a few peeks at your life as we now know it. Hoping for more soon. Let me know if you ever use the old gmail still.

    Wishing you the best blessings…

  7. Miller said:

    Glad to see you writing again… I always enjoy your writings of the past, sometimes they help me recall lost memories. I’ve forgotten,repressed, or missed out on so much of the past, I suppose that’s what happens when you grow up too quick & miss out on your childhood… makes me wish I had the chance to do it all over again. So, where is home for you now anyhow? P.S. I actually believe I remember that red swimsuit.

  8. Brenton D said:

    WHERE ARE YOU!!!!!!!!

    … see Linds, I can use caps too.

    (You were SO drunk the last time I saw you! I never get to say that to people, but i finally do!!)

  9. HAYLEE said:

    I soooo remember that red bathing suit and the smell of that chlorine!! Those were the days!! Miss you girl!!

  10. Chris Feathers said:

    Yeah those were the good old days. I kinda miss splashin ya, and beating ya back and forth across the pool. LOL

  11. Lindsay said:

    Will popular demand get you back to blogging? I miss it and I think I could create a stir if that’s what it will take. I miss you too!

  12. Trava said:

    Emily Lane Witt Edgar, where are you? Merry Christmas by the way. We love ya and miss you!!