Mental Picture

Kneeling shoulder deep in the kid's pool, eyes at water level.   Surrounded by splashing and kicking and interrupted conversations.   Father's trying to look good with their shirts off.  Mother's with swimming pool hair and a keen eye for any spot the sunblock missed.  Red heads with their super sensitive skin, toeheads in  stretchy sunprotective shirts and beautiful black boys with waterproof hair.  Cautious children alone negotiating mayhem.   Reckless kids testing the lifeguard's limits.  Sisters holding hands.  Frozen milky ways and french fries with lots of ketchup.  I close my eyes and try to hear summer - it is loud and quiet at the same time.  My head is hot and my body is buried in cool chlorine.   There is a woman standing on the steps wearing a shirt that reads, "Life is Worth Living."