Yesterday Z and I went to the beach. I say Z and I specifically cause my husband who had joined us straight from work and hence still in his work clothes, chose to sit on the side and watch us. It doesn’t qualify as going to the beach unless you atleast make the customary dip of your toe in the water. Z and I meanwhile were drenched head to toe.
One of the many perks of living in the Caribbean is the access to the beaches. Pristine, white, sandy beaches are a hop, skip and jump away. Every place is walking distance from a beach and so quite naturally, Z who has lived most of his 3 year old life here is a complete water baby. He loves the beach and won’t pass up an opportunity to head to one, even if it means he has to wake up from sleep. The only time he said no to the beach was when he was burning up with a 106 degree fever, and his rejection to the beach then, had gotten me worried and rushing to the ER. ‘Do you wanna head to the beach, Z?’ is my question to check whether he is feeling OK as its almost never met with a negative reply.
Yesterday was no exception. Z was at his cheerful best and ‘Look Mommy, I can swim’ was repeated a good twenty million times, as he thrashed about in the ocean. Z cannot swim, but he has the action down to a pat. So while he lies on the sand in half a feet of water and pretends to swim, his little mind tells him, he is. It is the cutest thing to watch. Yesterday however, he was feeling particularly dare devilish cause he left the comfort of the shore and the harmless end with the halfhearted waves and joined me in, what was for him, neck deep water. I was also feeling very proud of my son cause he was being very brave, leaving the security of the shore.
But it soon became apparent to me that his bravery was not the result of any resolve to finally swim, nor was it cause he was ready to take a risk and let go. The bravery was as a result of me. Seeing Mommy stand knee deep in water watching him was what gave him the guts to charter into unknown territories. It is the same kind of confidence that prompts him to jump into the deep end of a pool when he sees Daddy in the water. His bravery is a result of his supreme confidence in us. The surety that we will get him, no matter what. That look on his face when I pulled him up from under water when an unexpectedly large wave took him under only confirmed what I had been thinking. He did not look worried, he was not flustered but there was a glee and an all too familiar smile with a ‘Mommy, you found me!’.
Z is never this carefree with anyone else. If neither my husband or I am in the pool, he will not even venture to shallow end of it. He will quietly play with his sand castles when he knows we are not in the ocean watching him. This trust of his got me thinking for the rest of the day. How wonderful would it be to just let go trusting someone else completely. I have a loving husband and a great family yet I do not know if I can entrust my life in another hand, knowingly. To willingly jump off a cliff knowing some one else has got you must be such an adrenalin rush. It must be the biggest high. I know we all do the odd bungee jump or sky dives where we literally write off our life but to do it everyday, to walk around confident that someone else has got your back must be such a secure feeling.
I know Z’s this trust in us is only but temporary until the teenage years hit and we become ‘old’, ‘outdated’ parents but until then, I am going to cling on to it with all my heart. I hope when he is older, and rolls his eyes at me I can show him this post and let him know that I was not always just an ‘unreasonable parent’. No matter how hard he might find it to believe, there was a time when he trusted me completely, when he knew I had his back!