Saturday, 3 January 2015

Look To The Sea




‘Look at me, Granma!’
Grandchild 1 teeters at the surf edge. It’s shallow water, but lively. Every third set or so rushes in deeper. Pebbles smoothed and oval, large as ostrich eggs, are settled in the fine sand. The water brings out their warm colours.
‘Don’t you be looking at me my lovely- look to the sea!’ Granma shouts, as they have been playing pirates and some of the linguistic idiosyncrasies have stuck. It is good advice unless interpreted as ‘keep facing the sea and run backwards without taking any account of terrain.’

Grandchild 4 is wedged on a hip, gazing seaward.

Granma squats to pick up Dog’s ball, thus missing the vital ‘but don’t run away without looking either, you might trip on a rock’ intervention point.
Grandchild 1 finds himself sat, arse on sand, sea awash in his armpits. As instructed, he remains facing the swell, the surging white foam of it, wild as dragon spit. Granma has his arm grabbed. Dog runs past, carries her ball into the sea herself.

Grandchild 4 gazes seaward, under the rise and fall spell.

The trio trek back towards the car.
‘Are you a bit shook up?’ Granma asks, for the older lad is not usually this quiet.
He nods. His eyes water.
‘People who don’t fall in the sea just don’t understand,’ Granma tells him, ‘but adventures are important and you can’t have adventures without falling in the sea sometimes.’
‘I can ice skate, Granma,’ he articulates, ‘and once I was ice skating and a big boy fell over.’
‘Indeed.’ Granma nods.

Grandchild 3 is asleep in the car, curled on the comfort of Grandad. Her tooth-bothered cheeks shine like beach pebbles.
‘We had an adventure, Grandad,’ Granma reports, ‘so let’s set sails for home.’

Grandchild 1 sits in a dinosaur onesie eating crisps, while the young ‘uns, safely buckled, sing from their respective car seats: shanties we think. Wordless, hypnotic.
Wet clothes are in the boot-space, lumped in a plastic bag.



'Boys and teeth have driven me to drink.'



8 comments:

  1. There is nothing more important than family. Most certainly the nice ones that catch you lovingly when you fall in whatever sea happens to be around. :)
    xo

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    1. Falling in the sea is something I can relate to on many levels :-) x

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  2. That's so cute. Great advice to the little ocean diver!

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    1. I was proud of him- he must have cold too but he didn't moan!

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  3. Tomorrow I head for the sea, and Superior Court in San Francisco to stand with good people and declare myself proud to be the grampa of a foster child who, if all goes well Monday, will be adopted into our family. Your post made me confident in telling somebody for the first time. Wish me luck, kid.

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  4. Sent my love and lucky thoughts by sea and breeze! This is important, beautiful news xxx

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  5. I've had many a wet-clothes-in-a-bag days! Kids + water = fun.

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