Skip to main content

Shark Boy


If something amazing and truly worthy of a photo opportunity occurs, I am usually the one who has just turned their head for a split second, missing everything, only to hear the "oohs" and "aaahhhs" of my family reveling in what they just witnessed. I've missed goals, perfect landings, certificates of award from the President printed on colored card stock, and a series of other special events moms are supposed to be clicking their cameras on.  My timing is off by just a millisecond and the world can change in that tiny moment of time.  I'm certain if an alien invasion ever occurs, I will be head down, rifling through a box of popcorn or digging under my chair for someone's lost shoe.   I will miss the introduction to the new life form and have to ask them to kindly recreate the scene so I can capture it on my Handycam.

While at the beach this week, Shark boy, in the above photo, was moving in on my territory with his cute smile, foreign accent and eye for my girls.   Of all moves intended to impress a couple of young girls, I would have never expected him to reach down into the Atlantic waters around their feet and whisk out a baby shark, as if he does this everyday.  I was, of course, rifling though my bag of multi-SPF lotions and sunblock, digging for a tissue to keep the sand out of my Pina Colada, when I heard those familiar "ooohss" and "ahhhhs."  What had I missed... again?! I, instinctively, grabbed for the camera, still unaware if it was an alien takeover or just a good hair moment that needed to be photographed.  I knew it was something cool, though.  And there, as I looked up with a Pina Colada milk mustache, is Shark boy with tiny shark in hand.  The girls' shoulders instantly drew forward in some genetically instinctive act of coyness like Wally Cleaver's girlfriend when he donned his argyle sweater.  They oohed and ahhed and giggled as waves of doubt washed over me and Shark boy's self confidence beamed like a beacon from a lighthouse. Surely, that boy didn't just grab a live shark, I thought.  In yet another act of greatness, he gently places the tiny man eating sea critter back into the waters to swim away, showing his sensitive animal activist side.  I managed to pull myself up from my beach chair that was already six inches deep into the wet sand and walked up to this trio of kids.  Like an investigator, I questioned him on how this happened. People just don't reach into the water and pull out live fish unless you live on the Blue Lagoon and are working a movie set.  With excellent manners and a boyish foreign accent, Shark Boy offers to go grab another shark for me to see.  I knew the sun was hot and the rum had been flowing straight from my blender to my beachy little spot by the shore, but I was keenly aware that this was not normal.  The three ran back into the sea.  The girls normally scream when seaweed touches their feet, but now they were knee deep with this mystery boy walking with the sharks, safeguarded by his aura of self esteem.  It was a scary glimpse of the future, filled with ooohhs and ahhhs that I know will never be intended for me to capture on film. It took only moments and they returned from the sea with yet another baby shark in hand.  The girls giggled, the boy beamed and my older son was googling away, researching Shark boy on the Internet to determine his actual name, Facebook profile, age and political affiliation.  We all petted the little shark,  snapped a few photos and then released him back into the waters to rejoin his family of killers.  I took another sip of my sandy Colada, whispered a little prayer that the sharks will always stay far away from my girls, and took my place back in the sand next to my son.  As I closed my eyes in the summer sun, I heard the familiar "ping" sound of an email being sent.   Pictures of sharks and pretty girls were being uploaded and sent across country.  I found out later that one additional message went out from the shoreline.... a simple and easy to understand message from my son to Shark boy that simply said, "They're 12."    We did not see him after that, but pictures will last forever.

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

The Mink That Made Its Way Home

             When I was five years old, my grandmother would care for me before school each day.  She would turn the stereo console on and play big band music from the 40's.  I remember dressing up in her mink stole as we danced around the living room spinning and twirling to the classics.  She told me that one day the mink would be mine and I hoped that I would be as beautiful as she was wrapped in luxurious mink.     Time, of course, came and went and my grandmother passed away many years ago.  I have often wondered what happened to her mink stole and wished that I could wear it just one more time.  Little did I know, my grandmother had given the stole to her daughter and sometime during the early 80's when fur was not fashionable and we were wearing hideous things like leather pants and spandex, my aunt tossed the mink into the Goodwill bin near her home. She did not know that anyone actually wanted the mink and donated it to charity.  She told me she remembers lo

Dear Future Me

  Getting emails from old friends is always nice, but what a surprise to find an email that I sent to myself last year, only to be delivered exactly one year later.  It began "Dear Future Me".  This letter from my past to an older version of me had only one line.... "What have you accomplished over the past year?"   I thought this was rather brilliant as it prompted me to reflect on the year and what I had or had not accomplished.  My children were quick to interrupt my quiet reflections and point out that my one sentence email was lame and lacked details.  You can always count on your children for brutal honesty.  They educated me on how I should have talked about what I was doing a year ago and described what that day was like.  So.... with that being said, my children and I crafted our next letter... "Dear Future Us"   The letter began by explaining that it was close to midnight on a school night and my children should be in bed.  Instead, they

Peace, Love and What???

  There is nothing more precious than child innocence.  While it appears that this message may, indeed, be upside down, it seems that an upended pink ribbon is a call for better testing for earlier detection of breast cancer.  Who better to deliver such a message than a group of young girls with bright futures ahead of them?  While my daughter actually has no idea that she is holding the poster upside down, her mistake quietly sends a much more powerful message across this field. Who knows, but any one of these young ladies, excited about their part in participating in a campaign of hope, could go on to be the one to discover just such a test or cure.   So even if the symbols are upside down, or even fall to the ground, our youth are learning to be a part of something bigger than themselves and might just one day deliver this message exactly as they innocently displayed this Fall day in their youth.   Picture by Kathi Kolb www.accidentalamazon.com