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Saturday, August 16, 2008

Captain of the Sea

"I'm the Captain," my son informed me, already waist-deep in the swirling warm Florida Gulf water not far from our hotel. "I'll protect you."

I waded in after him, glanced around the sparcely inhabited shoreline and squinted at the harmless clumps of seaweed and the smooth rocks and shells nearby. "Um, from what?" I asked. I mean, this was last Sunday at 9am. Even the majority of seagulls were still asleep.

My son cast me a disbelieving look. "From the waves." His tone indicated that, clearly, his mother was an unseeing idiot for not being able to recognize the Enemy.

"Oh, great! Thanks," I murmured.

Thus, our white-sand, week-long, Siesta Key vacation began in earnest. And my 9-year-old Hero Wannabe--creating a world of intrigue and danger out of the blue sky and gentle surf--was true to his word. He, the Captain of the Sea, "protected" me from the waves. He held my hand, told the water gods he was on the Side of Justice and squealed, shrieked and giggled every time a new wave crested and splashed into us.

Then, suddenly, there was also a Golden Key to find. The Captain demanded that the Sea return it. But the Sea did not respond favorably, so the Captain was left with little choice but to embark on a search-and-rescue mission. When the Golden Key was at last located (being a Sunbeam sparkling on the water, it was visible but not easily grasped), the Captain engaged his great powers of imagination and scooped the Sunbeam from the Sea.

Clutching both my hands, the Captain now implored, "Help me carry it back!"

So, together, we sheltered the Golden Key of Light and raced from the water and onto the shore, the sun in our fingers. In doing so, we magically kept the Sea safe (I'm still not sure of the logistics on that), further bonded a mom and her son with an unexpected and joyous memory and reminded one writer that exciting explorations need not be reserved for novels. Nor do they require stringent plotting, inspired dialogue or excessive use of GMC.

Great Adventure exists in a parallel universe to everyday life...and it can be accessed with nothing more than a step through a sandy gate and a dash into a rising wave.

12 comments:

L.A. Mitchell said...

What a great mental picture--you both harnessing a sunbeam in your hand. I'm certain that'll show up in one of your books one day :) Sounds like you had a wonderful time.

Sherry Davis said...

You are such a writer! I was right there with you (even had to dust the sand off my feet). Sounds like a great vacation.

Thanks for the kudos on my blog :)

Marilyn Brant said...

L.A. and Sherry~thanks to you both :). And, yes, it was a fun vacation, but there's nothing like being home and settling back into the comfy familiarity of a good routine.

That and the delight in the fact the school year will be starting oh so soon!

Anonymous said...

Ah, ma cherie, you have made me smile very much with this one! My kid has not had those thoughts in awhile...at least not without a lego in his hand...:) spj

Leshia Stolt said...

What a wonderful story! I just love little boys. Mine isn't Captain of the Sea yet, but he's getting there. Every night, between bites of his dinner, he reminds me--with an excited smile and a raise of both arms over his head--that he is "SO BIG"! :)
I'm so glad you had a nice trip with your family and that you can appreciate it.

Marilyn Brant said...

SPJ~I've often wished my kid was more into Legos :). Hope to see you all very soon...

Leshia~Oh, he MUST be SO big now!! Our little ones grow way too fast, don't they?

Sandra Ferguson said...

What a fabulous memory. Aren't those moments precious?

Ah, in the imagination of children live the simplicity and greatness of everything.

Glad you had a wonderful time.

Erin said...

The captain sounds too adorable for words. I've spent a lot of time in that area of Florida, he's smart to protect you from those waves. :)

Pamala Knight said...

Oh how sweet! Having two pirates of my own, I know the feeling (and totally enjoy it) of being rescued, lol. You write so beautifully about the memories and the experience that I hope you either journal it for him to read someday or put it into one of your books.

Welcome back!

Marilyn Brant said...

Sandra~I love what you said about simplicity and greatness--beautifully stated!

Erin~There were some seriously BIG waves! Being a life-long, land-locked Midwesterner, I'm always surprised by the power of the sea. (I definitely appreciated being rescued. :)

Pamala~Thank you. I know you must have double the fun with two!! I used to journal so much more (I have an entire book of just his first year), but I still try to jot down some of the most memorable things now. Thanks for the reminder to get back to it...

Pam said...

How wonderful--a swashbuckling hero for the next generation.

So glad you had a wonderful family vacation!

Marilyn Brant said...

Pam~thank you!! It's good to be home :).