It is high tide, and dirty seaweed decorates the beach. The shore line looks ugly but the sky does not. Pewter grey clouds hover above angry white caps. In the distance a shirtless boy, pounds the sand intensely with his small fist and I share his anger. Dad sits behind him talking into a cell phone. No one smiles or says good morning when I walk by, shake my head, and think about the world.
The waves slap each other and drive home a recent expectation of parents playing with kids.
On my return trip, Dad is picking up shells and pointing out turtle nests to his son and I forgive his digression and reevaluate my assumptions.
I bristled at the cell phone, but is it any different from a live conversation, probably not. Fathers teach children to wait and not interrupt.
My father’s words “Life is tough, TUFF,” dance in my head and I reminisce about being told, “You’ve had enough fun this week,” and so, I was not allowed to go to the movies with friends. I could not argue. I did have fun.
We fabricate an idealized world in which every day is happy; and we are disappointed when it is not.
Perhaps this wise Dad is teaching his son to find the happy moments in the day.
Life is just a bowl of cherries.