Boy vs. Sea 

He loves the water this boy of mine.

He doesn’t understand the power of the ocean. The unrelenting, punishing power of waves at high tide.

He loves the waves without understanding his frailty against water that has travelled across miles with the single purpose of crashing against sand and drawing back.

He loves them without knowing that with each leap against a wave, my heart misses a beat, as I wait suspended for his head to emerge from the water.

I struggle to discern whether his shouts of glee are changing to tones of terror, while I wonder how fast I can make it into the waves.  I struggle to hold myself back from being that mother, the one that hovers too much and doesn’t allow him to test his seven year old strength against the power of nature; while fully aware that the sea is no idle threat, and his little body could disappear at any moment.

This moment by the shore is a portrait of motherhood. His growth, his potential juxtaposed against my fear and my hope, my struggle to let go.

He laughs abundantly as he runs slowly across the water onto the beach towards my sentinel point. I am reminded that joy and defining boyhood moments are often won at the precipice of danger.

He loves the water this boy of mine.

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