She Speaks was hosting a scholarship contest for the She Speaks Conference to be held July 22 – 24. I have been unable to attend over the last couple of years, but I wanted to throw my hat in the ring this year. Three years ago, it was such a huge blessing to me and my ability to string words together to form sentences.
The requirement for entry was simply to write a SIX WORD sentence telling a story.
We all know that brevity is not my gift. However, I gathered my gumption, rose to the task, and the above title of this post was my entry.
As I mentioned last week, the skies opened up over fair Florida and let loose. Now don’t get me wrong, we more than needed the precipitation. But the news was so alarming in nature, that we dared not venture out for fear of ending up in the next county, and not of our own volition.
This meant several days of all of us being trapped together.
Like we don’t spend enough quality time together already.
Friday dawned, the sun was shining, and we frankly could not wait for our weekly pilgrimage to the park to frolic with all of our homeschooling friends.
I was the first to arrive with my 3, plus 3 more nephews for good measure. When I spied the playground equipment, I noticed that it was now protected by what I can only describe as a moat.
Upon closer inspection, I could not determine just how deep the water was, since it had a rather brown/yellow caste to it. And since I am suspicious in nature, my mind conjured up all manner of nastiness that could have contributed to the color of the water. What with this being a public park and all.
So I told my son and his nephews to stay out of the water. My son was told to stay out FOREVER, and my nephews were told to stay out until their mother arrived and could make her own determination as to rather she would prefer to avoid cholera, or whatever plague might be caught by wading into the infested waters. Which for all I knew could have contained an alligator, considering my parenting track record.
This lasted for about 3 minutes. Perhaps less. The first child in, as you might imagine, was Jensen. And it wasn’t a timid or accidental toe dipping. No. I watched him as he stood peering down into the pool of water and debris, with elbows resting on bent knees, eyes keenly focused. Then he stood straight and tall, and with one giant leap into the air, he landed smack down in the middle of the cesspool.
In his freshly washed overalls and light-up sneakers.
Since the child suffers from atopic dermatitis, I knew the water and whatever was in it, could set off a skin reaction. So, I bellowed for him to exit the water. Chalking up the leap up to unavoidably not so contained testosterone.
Which evidently was contagious, since all 4 boys were soaked within 5 minutes. At one point I saw a nephew laying stomach down in the water, but I had already handed him off to his mother, so he was out of my jurisdiction.
Jensen spent the next 3 hours frolicking in every single pool of water he could find, alternating between jumping in with two feet, to dipping his red Mario baseball cap to scoop up the water, and then replacing his hat on his head. While I sat nearby, alternating between fervent prayers of protection, hand wringing, and retching.
As you might imagine, I gave up trying to keep him out of the moat. Expecting a small boy not to leap into a rain puddle would be unnatural. And frankly I was getting hoarse from All The Yelling. Remember, I’ve been told that I sound like I’m insane whenever I yell. Pretty much all of the attending boys were disgustingly filthy and wet, while the dainty girls maintained their dignity by gallivanting on the nice dry sidewalk.
And these dainty girls did not include my Emme, by the way.
When we were leaving, I patted myself on the back for always packing an extra set of clothes for Jensen in the van. The overalls are beloved, or they would have been tossed into the trash along with his socks.
After raising two girls, I really never had any inkling that a boy child could be so different.
And that mud puddles actually speak to a little boy in a silent language that no sensible mother can really understand.