It’s the end of August, and we’re blessed with yet another magnificent sunburnt day. Jericho beach is tranquil but for the seagulls swooping for lost fries and bits of fish. The tide is waaaaaay out. Boys on the cusp of teenage-hood head to the shallow waters with their skimboards held high. As for us, we’ve squelched our way across the muck hand-in-hand to the water’s edge, I in clothes, iPhone in pocket, and Theo in his new hand-me-down wetsuit.
Theo gazes out at the water hypnotized, and then suddenly, he bolts. He runs and runs and runs. Pretty soon he’s a speck, and I start to panic.
Voice A: Should I call him back? He’s going too far. He could drown!
Voice B: Nah. He’s a great little swimmer. He’s not going to drown. He looks so free. Freedom is what childhood is all about. Loosen up; it’s summer.
A: There’s a fine line between freedom and disaster.
B: Relax! In the 60s, parents probably dropped their four-year-olds off at the beach and went home to make muffins or have a martini. Stop being so uptight.
A: Uptight?! I only get one shot at parenthood. I’m not going to blow it.
B: Look at him! He’s in heaven. I think I’ll take a photo.
A: A photo – are you that self-absorbed?! What if he trips, gets flustered, falls in the water and can’t get up?
B: The water is so shallow, it’s probably 6 inches deep.
A: Kids drown in bathtubs!
B: I’ll throw my jacket and phone in the muck, run in and get him. It will take a minute.
A: A minute! That’s way too long! Brain cells die by the second.
Oh look, he’s coming back … [exhale]
This is my fourth post for the September – 21 Moments Writing Challenge. Seventeen more to go!