Tuesday, Sep 23, 2014
Dorothy Harris

Beach birthday cruising


Before school starts each year, my son has a birthday. This time, he turned 14. We took him and his best friend to a go-cart park. When I saw his long legs crammed into that tiny cart, I was reminded that he will be 15 next year and eligible to receive a learner’s permit. I don’t know why this had not hit home until that point in time.

He talks about driving all the time. He says, “Mom, I watch how you drive. I notice when you use your blinker and how you check for cars. I’m paying attention for when I get to drive.”

I tell him, “Son, you need years of practice to drive like I do. Don’t think you can maneuver a vehicle like me just by watching. It isn’t safe.”

Seeing him pass the other cart drivers with a big grin on his face, I knew the world isn’t ready. I made a mental note to be a better driver.

We then went to the beach and stayed at a place with a pool. The kids were all on cloud nine. Both my kids had their moments on that trip.

As you may know, my girl is her own being and tends to follow her own path in life. One morning, she decided to float away from me into the Atlantic. It wasn’t far, but she was getting too deep for my comfort level.

“Honey, come back towards me,” I said to her in a perfectly reasonable tone.

“I’m fine! I’m just floating.” She had her turtle float ring and no fear in the world.

“You’re too deep. You are going in over your head.” The current began edging her further away.

“No I’m not,” she said obstinately as she showed me that the water was merely up to her neck. No big deal unless any wave at all came along. She turned her back to me.

“GET OVER HERE NOW!” Her dad joined in the chorus of parental correction. Now she was mad and pouting. She decided to sit on the beach with her bucket and spoon. Her aggression was taken out on the soft sand by digging in a spiteful manner.

I asked what she was doing. “Digging!”

“I see that. Why are you digging a big hole?” She kept her head down to her task while she answered, “I’m trying to find water.”

I looked around us at the vastness of the ocean then back at her hole. “Wow. Well, you might have to dig a while before you find water.”

“Good. I’ll dig all the way to China then I’ll live there and disappear forever.” No one can hold a grudge like my daughter.

Later, my son and his buddy were in the pool flirting with a couple of girls who were very interested. They all decided to play “Chicken” in the pool.

The boys were ecstatic. These girls were going to play “Chicken.” Hot dog! My son immediately propped his friend on his shoulders and they got ready to tangle with these girls.

Unfortunately, the girls thought the game was going to turn out a bit different. Not many girls want to ride on their friend’s shoulders. They backed out. When my husband explained this to the boys, they were shocked. “You mean we could’ve had girls on our shoulders?” Everyone lost that round.

These moments are so precious to me. Even when they are grumpy, I love the memories they burn into my mind. Now, if we could work on increasing the legal driving age, everything would be perfect.


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