Midnight Randomness Reflections / Media Nocte Quaedam Sententiae
10 Reflections About Advocacy: BlogHer, Bellydancing, Catastrophe, Keeping the Faith

Always a Beach Boy

More magic handshake

Asleep at 9.30, up at 12.45 for a good hot shower.

The mysteries, and vagaries, of teenage existence. Which I am clearly reliving with our beloved boy, up listening to songs on his iPad in the middle of the night.

Charlie's day was good. He got to go swimming for the first time all summer -- he had a neurologist appointment when his class previously swam -- and his teacher said Charlie kept saying 'excited' as he waited to get in the big pool. He had some trouble getting out but worked through it.

Charlie has been listening to the sound of ocean waves a lot on his iPad. He's listening to them right now, after some pop-ish Disney and a song by the Sundays from my college days, 'Here's Where the Story Ends.' The album cover is a design of footprints and lines in the sand.

Maybe that's why Charlie is listening to it along with the ocean waves, because he has the beach on his mind, the beach and the infinite ocean we have had to let go of now that Charlie is an Olympian swimmer who we cannot keep up with and have to call on lifeguards to bring back?

Jim has broached the idea of renting a place at the Jersey shore for a week. We used to do so for two weeks every year and have done day trips but the journeys back, and some of the time at the beach, have become perilous enough to cancel out any pleasures.

I mean, if we stayed overnight down the shore, what if Charlie attempted a night swim?

It's a dilemma no swimming pool can solve and one that, to me, sums up the singular pang, poignancy and wonder of a boy named Charlie Fisher growing up, changing, trying to hang on to what was once his natural element.

Ocean's delight

on his back, out to sea

First swim of the season 7


Dixie Redmond

I liked your phrase "have become perilous enough to cancel out any pleasures". Growth of any kind opens up the world more, brings more stimuli in, and consequently means more to process for my son. It's part of our journey.

Kristina Chew

It is a journey, yes. I always thought we'd have the beach and I'm sure Charlie did/does too. So much more aware of the dangers out there now and that we can't swoop him off to safety.


I can't begin to imagine how hard it must be for Charlie to give up his ocean swims, and yet how incredibly frightening for you to think he could just swim on and on without thinking about turning and coming back to shore. I wish there was an easy solution for all of you.

Your writing is lovely. And your words such a poignant reminder of how everything changes over time, even the things we would like to stay exactly as they are.


Would Charlie like to swim for Special Olympics? Or is there another solution to the day at the beach - e.g. hire a strong swimmer to be a personal lifeguard for Charlie, to go out on a boat beside him in case he swims out too far, bring him back. Night swims can be deflected with strong doors, though the nerve storms can't be so contained.

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