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Come back! There’s no need to run. Please, don’t act like that… I didn’t mean to scare you. You asked… I answered… But it’s not contagious. Believe me, I wouldn’t want anyone to go through what we’ve been through…”
I was minding my own business, wandering the shoreline, lost in my mid-afternoon reverie of shell collecting at the far end of the beach. Several families were out doing the same thing, including a couple with their son, who appeared to be around three years old. The father said hello, declared his approval of my USC sweatshirt and asked if his child could look at some of the treasures in my cup… I dumped out a handful, and impulsively decided to give them the tiny, perfect sea urchin shell I had just found.
The father handed it to his son, who promptly stuffed it into the front pocket of his swim trunks, crushing it to bits… He began to scold the child for destroying the “gift”. I hated to see him fuss at the little boy for doing what any child that age would do, so I said “It’s okay; my son would have done exactly the same thing at his age.”
“How old is your son?”
“Ah, well, he would have been 18.”
The man picked up his son, turned his back on me, and walked quickly in the opposite direction, toward his wife, and away from my unpleasant reality…
I am stunned at how this random moment on the beach played out. I have gone over it repeatedly, trying to figure out why he took off without another word, and all I can think of is that my answer triggered his flight response… John believes I gave the man more than he bargained for, but I contend I simply answered his question. He didn’t have to ask me anything, or he could have said thanks, or a million other things... I must be true to who I am, and that means telling the truth about my son. Even if it chases people off…
Like we don’t wish we could run away from it too…
Wishing you sunshine and hope…tg
Tammy will update her blog on Mondays and Thursdays. -- Jen, site administrator