As The Waves Crash

by Ginger on June 13, 2012

in Marriage, Mom Thoughts, The Kid

He’s holding my hand, standing at the shoreline as the waves pulse around our feet, watching his daddy swim out into the crashing breakers. He wants to go out to him, wants to be a part of the action, but the enormity of the ocean gives him pause, a hesitation he displays in little else in life. Finally, he pulls on my hand and looks up at me.

“Uppio mommy, uppio!”

I’m not supposed to pick him up as much–35 pounds of wriggling toddler has been part of the problem with my ongoing neck pain–but there are times when I can’t say no. Like now. So up he comes, wrapping his sandy feet around my waist, his arms around my neck.

“Go see daddy! Let’s GO!”

He leans out toward the ocean, hands still clasped around my neck, trying to pull me with the sheer force of his toddler will out into the water. I double check with him, “Are you sure you want to go out there? It’s pretty far!” but he assures me he does. In my parenting I try, as much as possible, to let him call the shots as far as what he is and isn’t afraid of and willing to do, so despite my own nerves at taking a toddler out into the swelling water, we begin to head out.

“Daddy! Daddy! Daddy!”

He yells for daddy from my arms, though I know of the futility of trying to being heard over the crashing waves even if he doesn’t. Luckily, daddy keeps an eye on us from the water the way we keep an eye on him from the shore and we head towards each other without needing to be called. The waves are insistent in their journey towards the shore making the meetup harder than it would be on a calmer day, and I struggle to keep my footing more than once.

Every time a wave breaks around us, he squeals and laughs in delight at the exact same time that his arms tighten around my neck. As we head farther out, the waves crash around my ankles, then my shins, then my knees. When they begin to crash around my waist, and his feet, he pulls himself as close to me as possible while still being two people. He is loving every minute, thrilled with the adventure and the splash. And he is also afraid.

I could let go of him in this moment and he would not move an inch such is the strength with which he holds onto me. It is clear that there is fear intermingled with his joy, but as is his way, the joy wins out. He is loving every minute of our wild adventure into the sea, every splash, every stumble. He knows he is safe with me, that he is free to enjoy the moment because mommy is there for him. It occurs to me in that moment that he won’t always cling to me for support, that he won’t always reach for me to keep him safe. I hug him a little closer, and relish the arms that squeeze me tight today.

We reach a sandbar at the same time as daddy, a fact that is very welcome as he grabs me when a particularly powerful wave tries to take us down. The toddler reaches out to daddy, holding onto each of us at once. Our little family of three stands in the dark blue water with waves crashing around us, husband holding wife holding son holding us both with the soundtrack of the ocean punctuated by laughter. This moment, this tiny forgettable moment where we are tied to each other and tied to the world, is the biggest moment of my day.


Michelle June 13, 2012 at 5:23 pm

I love this. So freaking beautiful.

The Sweetest June 14, 2012 at 12:29 pm

I love when you write like this! Keep it up!

Jennifer June 15, 2012 at 12:04 pm

This is fantastic.

Jen June 15, 2012 at 9:14 pm

Awww. What a great day!

Classic NYer June 16, 2012 at 1:20 pm

What a beautiful moment… and beautifully written.

Galit Breen June 18, 2012 at 4:16 am

What a beautiful, peaceful, and loving moment in time.

By Word of Mouth Musings June 18, 2012 at 5:12 am

I want to pull a line out as a fav but just love them all .. what a beautiful piece you wrote here, creating such a feeling ….

BeBe June 21, 2012 at 10:27 am

This piece is exactly why your grandmother (the teacher, the reading partner of your life) thinks you should ditch everything and become a writer.

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