I took my son and his friend swimming on Monday. It was a holiday, the weather was perfect and the local beach made sense. My son and his buddy, two brilliant Black boys, immediately jumped in the water and began to swim. I felt nervous as the waves were stronger than usual, higher tide than I’ve seen at this beach. I stood at the part of the beach where the waves crashed into the shore to take pictures and videos as I laughed at the boys’ antics. They were fearless as they swam through the waves and splashed one another.
On occasion I shouted for them to come closer to shore. I felt uncomfortable with the waves and possible rip tides. Even though there were plenty of children and adults close by swimming, I indulged in brief moments of neurotic thoughts. My brain experienced several run-on sentences. “These boys betta come closer, Lord knows what would happen if a rip tide took one or both, how would I save ‘em? I know for sure I betta bring this boy back to his parents in one piece, my son betta be safe, I wish I had brought his goggles just in case I have to jump in and save ‘em. The thoughts seemed to be endless.
They swam, laughed, splashed, and then came to shore to throw sand at one another. I laid down, attempted a nap with one eye open and on them as they took over an abandoned sand pool with high walls some other children created. The boys worked to maintain the structure as the water crashed into the walls.
They splashed, threw sand, laughed, and talked smack to one another. I laughed, looked up, and placed my head back down to relax. Then they started to bury one another. By then I began to truly relax.
The boys both decided to jump back in the ferocious water. By then there were less people, so I kept my attention on the two of them, but in a more relaxed manner. I watched as they laughed, splashed and swam. My heart opened and I smiled. I looked out at the water, placed my hand on my heart and said quietly “My prayer is that all Black and Brown children have such freedom to play so freely, so safely.”
I called them out of the water so that we could prepare to return home. I dropped off my son’s friend. My son and I then returned home. Just as I began to cook dinner, I shared my prayer on the social media world, “May all Black and Brown children have the freedom to play so freely, so safely.” May it be so.