Just ten minutes here,
scarce time to settle into my chair
to find out how Paula Deen,
Butter Queen, had gotten so lean
when Charlie walks into deep water
in pursuit of his big brother
then jumps on Christopher's back
as though mimicking his hiking pack.
I call to Charlie: "Come in!"
He flashes me his devilish grin
then laughs his head off,
trying to irk us or just show off.
"Here's where YOU swim!
You stay in the shallows," I direct him.
I am wading in water below my waist
as he lets me know he is in no haste.
"But how come HE can go out there?"
he asks. "It's just not fair."
I explain, "He is a more experienced swimmer than you.
Older, taller, and can touch the bottom too.
Charlie doesn't like what I say
so he charges back out in great dismay.
Aware of the people packing the beach en masse,
I hope I don't sound like too much of an ass
when I raise my voice to make myself heard.
"You're done. Now!" I order, quite self-assured.
Charlie remains unwilling,
his defiance oh so thrilling.
However, I won't back down, won't back down.
I'm standing my ground
on this matter of safety, he must comprehend.
I am not giving in, not going to bend.
This former lifeguard has no desire
to resurrect old skills for a situation made dire
in the dark waters of Chebacco Lake,
the "Grown Ups" filming location, for Pete's sake.
My younger son emerges, unhappy
yet only momentarily
for he has not given up the fight.
Spinning on his heels, he heads back in, convinced he is right.
I manage to get him out once more
but then ensues a TUG OF WAR --
feet planted in the sand,
pulling and grasping arm over hand.
"Come on, Christopher," I yell,
wishing he would tell
his brother to LISTEN to me.
"We're leaving," I announce. "Hurry!"
But HE wants a Saturday afternoon at play
cooling off in the heat of the day
so he dawdles. Charlie is very strong
yet I maneuver behind him before long
to better position myself to coax
him away in front of these folks.
Lake visit over. Swimming privilege lost.
Being subjected to my safety lecture is his cost.