People watching is the best show on earth...

Sep 3, 2007


. Sep 3, 2007


I'm at the beach today (again) and it's Labor Day crowded. I'm gazing at the waves when a family bustles by, spraying sand. They settle in front of me and unpack. The couple is white and 40-something. There are two young blond girls, a blond teenaged boy and two black boys, one toddler and one perhaps five or six. These two boys stand back while the girls raid the sand toys, grabbing pales and shovels. The teen tucks a boogie board under his arm and jogs to the sea.

After shouting warnings not to drift to the teen, the Dad kneels beside the older boy, puts his hand on his head and whispers something in his ear. The boy nods his head, takes his hand and the two start toward the water. The toddler screams and wails something incomprehensible. The older boy goes to him and tries to pull him toward the water, too. He cries louder and digs his heels into the sand. The Mother kneels down beside the two and takes both their hands in hers:

Mom: He's afraid, honey. He's just afraid. You go ahead and then you come right back and you let him touch you. Let him touch your wet hands and see that you're okay.

The older boy doesn't say a word. He pats the younger one on his chest and goes off with the father. Sure enough, he comes running back, breathless, laughing, dripping arms outstretched to his brother. All is calm once more. Still, the toddler stays on the sand with the mother.

Hours later, I'm packing up to go. I take in one more look at the sea, now choppy with frothy waves. I notice that this family sits all together on the sand now. The parents and older children encircle the two young black boys; the younger sits in the older's lap. The others have joined hands around them and sit with bowed heads. I hear murmuring, but I cannot understand. Even if I'd heard, I wouldn't post it.

11 Whispers:

Anonymous said...

Good blog ya have here i really enjoyed reading it
Thanks for the good work

DrowseyMonkey said...

I so look forward to checking out your latest posts. I enjoyed this one, very touching.

Vienne said...

Hello Drowsey, thanks so much for the compliment. This moment on the beach brought me to tears and my mind wouldn't shut off about it. I imagined so many scenarios for this family. I truly hope the best for them.

Vienne said...

And Hi to you, dd2. Thanks for reading. Hope you continue to like what I hear.

Lynn Emery said...

Lovely, including the part of not sharing even you had heard. You're a jewel.

Vienne said...

Thanks, Lynn. This was such a tender, private moment and yet I felt like they would've welcomed me into their prayer circle. Just the sense I got that they're very warm people.

Lordmanilastone said...

You always inspire me with your writing and eavesdropping, i love being here...^^

Chase March said...

Touching story. A nice way to start my day. Thanks.

Vienne said...

Hi Chase, I'm thankful you expressed how this moment touched you. I want to share it with the world, I found it so moving.

~Deb said...

Wait, I'm not sure why they put the two kids in the circle---were they praying for them? Were they even praying? It sounded way too bizarre for me. I'm not sure what I would think if I saw this happening on a beach.

Great observations though!

Nature Nut /JJ Loch said...

What a precious moment you captured. :D

My mom-in-law tells a story about how my husband used to scream and holler when he was near a lake. She tells it over and over.

The last time my husband asked, "Well, how old was I?" My mom-in-law jutted her chin up and said..."Six months." LOL

My husband wishes she'd get off the subject. He's in his forties.

Hugs, Nancy


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