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Commentary by Ramon Presson: You know youre a Williamson County lifeguard when

My son Cameron, a rising sophomore at Summit High School, doesn’t have a summer job and isn’t paying us anything for rent and all the food he’s eating so I recruited him to help with my column this week. I’ve always said that if you can’t get your children to bail you out of a jam with your editor what’s the point of fatherhood?

Cameron’s good friend, Rielly, is a summer lifeguard at the Longview Rec Center in Spring Hill. He demonstrated his listening skills by showing me his understanding of her daily experience via a list of items he created under the title, “You know you’re a lifeguard when…”  I was quite impressed with the imaginative piece.

As a parental and professional courtesy I have edited and added to his original offering. But since Cameron did come up with the idea and starter material I do want to give credit where credit is due and say… that without me (and a little help from his mother) he would’ve never even been born!

Nevertheless, with acknowledgement of my son’s inherited creativity, he and I offer this list of sure-fire ways to know that you are a Williamson County summer lifeguard:

1. You can mentally entertain yourself for hours on end and are amazed and sometimes embarrassed by where your imagination can go.
2. You have conflicting tan lines from your one-piece lifeguard suit and your two-piece beach bikini.
3. Boys in the water beneath your stand pretend to be drowning and need mouth-to-mouth resuscitation.
4. At a party someone asks you what that unique fragrance is you’re wearing and you say Eau de Chlorine.
5. You discover that some mothers of preschool tadpoles apparently view you as a free babysitter.
6. You wake up every morning hoping that THIS will be the day that it rains non-stop.
7. You’ve been traumatized for life by the sight of an overweight senior adult in a Speedo.
8. You feel you may have a psychotic break if you hear one more group of kids endlessly yelling “Marco… Polo”.
9.  You believe that when God kicked Adam and Eve out of the Garden what He actually said was, “Alright, everybody out of the pool!”
10. You are sitting on the lifeguard stand and you imagine yourself queen over all the common people below.
11. People chuckle because they think they’re the first one to call you “Rudolph”
12. You vaguely overhear someone say she’s a student at UVA and you perk up because you think she is talking about ultraviolet long wave rays versus UVB which duh! everyone knows is ultraviolet shortwave rays which range from 290 to 320 nanometers but is nothing to really lose sleep over because UVA accounts for 95 percent of all UV radiation that reaches the earth’s surface.
13. Everyone knows that a fanny pack is a terribly outdated fashion accessory but you don’t care because it’s highly functional.
14. A kid is sprinting down the sidewalk in your neighborhood and your first reaction is to reach for your whistle and yell for him to stop running.
15. You look forward to getting off work so you can finally put on underwear.
16. You wonder why someone hasn’t designed ergonomic lifeguard stands.
17. While in the stand you imagine yourself as a hawk that swoops down and carries off that obnoxious kid to the nest where your hungry hawklets are waiting for their meal.
18. You wonder why Sam’s Club doesn’t carry three-gallon containers of aloe lotion with a pump spout.
19. You are the only one of your friends who knows or cares what the difference is between SPF and PABA.
20. Before you began lifeguarding you always told your mother you wanted five or six children when you got married. Now you are considering joining a convent. 

Author and therapist, Dr. Ramon Presson, is the founder of LifeChange Counseling and the Marriage Center of Franklin, TN.  He can be reached at


Posted on: 7/21/2013


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