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Some Kids I Have Known

Sometimes a moment in our life can become frozen in memory forever there regardless of how many years have gone past. This was the sort of thing to happen the summer in Texas when their little family was living in a very large group of apartments. The housing was newly constructed and was just short of being a paradise. The Texas heat had not stopped the builders from having the homes landscaped and set in rich surrounds. St Augustine grass had been placed in sheets over the dry barren earth. With abundant watering the grass was rich and verdant. Each small group of apartments owned its own small swimming pool. The small pools were kept crystal sparkling clean with numerous maintenance personnel. If the folks worried about no life guards on duty no one spoke of it and it didn't seem to be a problem. Of course, children were not allowed to go into the pool without adults present.

Set about the grounds on the over all acreage of at least twenty or maybe thirty acres were various recreational facilities such as tennis courts, and out door carpeted jogging tracks. Toward the center of the complex was a very large pool of Olympic proportions. This pool was decorated with an attractive waterfall and children's pool. It was an ideal place to entertain guests because the very size of it made sure it was never over crowded. The children's section held shallow water and this gave the adults less worry about them wondering into water over their head.

On this particular day the children of the two families played together. They were all about the same age and having a great time in the crystal waters. While they splashed the women visited, occasionally stopping for a swim across the pool and back again to a place beside the pool. Some folks would come out to the pool area just for the companionship. It was common for them to be fully dressed since they were not swimming but simply enjoying the cool relief from the Texas summer around the pool. Always it was a most pleasant place to be.

D'Ann's mother was always busy keeping a vigilant eye on her two younger daughters. The older girl, D'Ann was in and out of the shallow pool like a seal. Once she was sliding down the curved slide, and again she was rolling up into a ball holding her knees while she dropped like a cannon ball in order to splash the adults unexpectedly. She was around eight years old, so the adults were not too worried about her. After all she was in the children's pool.

For some reason, who can explain why, all four of the adults were in the pool at the same time. It was just like a response for escaping the very hot sun for a moment. Swimming the cool waters took a little time because of the length and width of the pool. To lazily take one's time reaching across the space with slow pulling strokes made the swim most enjoyable.

D'Ann for some reason left the children's pool. Like a playing of film in slow motion it was if all the adults had their eyes on her at the same time. It felt like they knew what she was going to do but was hoping it wouldn't happen. She skipped along the edge of the large adult's pool going farther and farther away from them. What was possessing her as to her thinking? No one of their group was on the other side of the pool. Was she just fascinated with the long edge of it and intrigued with walking and balancing along this edge? Did she think the water was a shallow as the smaller pool and was not worried with the danger?

Her aunt looked in the direction of D'Ann's father. His expression was one to show his mind was filled with the same thoughts she herself had. At that time D'Ann's mother was calling to her. However, the noise of the people in the pool and the distance along with the mother's very soft voice caused the call to go unheard. The mother was not a strong swimmer. In those few moments D'Ann aunt was trying to see a way out for the little girl. Maybe she would not go into the water after all. Maybe she was simply skipping along the edge.

In an instant the child was into the deep water. She went all the way to the bottom and back up. Her aunt could see from the surprised expression on the little girl's face she had not expected the water to be so deep. "Help," she began to cry and gulp at the water at the same time.

The water was about waist deep where her aunt was and she began to try to walk across the area, only to realize there was no moving quickly enough. As she began to stroke and stroke hard the little girl's cries were desperate. The most helpless feeling came over the woman as she could not seem to cover the space as rapidly as she needed to in order to close the gap between her and the child. She could see her brother stroking across the water ahead of her. Surely, one of them could get to D'Ann. If the child could swim she had lost her ability to do so and was in a state of panic. As she went under the water so completely it was certainly the most terrifying thing for the girl. There was no thinking. It was just a pushing, desperate slamming across the water to get to the child.

As quickly as the thing had happened it was ended in the most wonderfully absurd way possible. One of the guests at the side of the pool where the little girl had jumped, walked down the steps, fully clothed. He didn't even bother to kick off his shoes. He simply walked the short distance he was from D'Ann, reached down for her arm and pulled her to the surface.

If there is anything to sum up the personalities of Texas men here it was. Their's is a culture and a mystique so rare and special. They can simply do the bravest most heroic things with such an ease and sureness one can never believe a problem can be so simply solved.

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