When Son #1 was three years old, DH used to take him to swim at the Stanford pool. If they were there at the end of the day, they witnessed the closing drill. It involved the lifeguards blowing their whistles and hollering, “POOL’S CLOSING! EVERYBODY OUT!” Those lifeguards had spent a long shift in the sun, and they were probably relieved to be calling it a day.
Son was fascinated by the hollering. Envious might be a better word. Whistle blowing and yelling and having lots of people pay attention? The best.
At the end of that summer, we packed up our little on-campus apartment and headed on to the next adventure. We commemorated the day with a self-timed family portrait. Below. “Chastened” sits on the lap of Happy/Tan. The Easy Child sits on the lap of “What was I thinking?” “Chastened” was feeling constrained because we asked him to stop running around the empty apartment bellowing (you guessed it) “POOL’S CLOSING! EVERYBODY OUT!” We had to admit it was apt.
This weekend Son #2 is moving out of his college apartment. He can’t remember the original “Pool’s Closing, Everybody Out!” But I do, and I will be thinking about it this week, in a whisper, though, not a holler.
Related: the Kindergarten Bus story, the “new beginnings” bookend to “Pool’s Closing.”