So when I came up to the island this year it was made known to me that my child would NOT be going to sailing school.
I was not crushed by that information.
Neither was my child.
The reason he would not be going was because he is “a sinker.” He has not perfected his buoyancy. My mother is distraught over this. She has dreams for my son to fulfill. He is (in her mind) fated to become the next great sailor. He will be physical proof to the rest of her boating family in Boston that - even though she left the fold and married ‘that man’ - that there is still yachting blood running through her veins. Seamus MUST be that child. It is the only grandchild she has.
“Seamus, do you want to go in the boat?”
“Uhhh... sure. But don’t go too fast. It gets tricky and we could all DIE.”
“Seamus if I offered you a brand new Hinckley boat or an astro pop which would you choose?”
“..well, duh. Astro pop.”
So my mother has her work cut out for her. She firmly believes that if she just keeps telling me how important it is for him to learn to swim - that that action (versus say - time in a pool) will make him a better swimmer. I answer these calls in my office downtown - 50 miles away from my child who I will not see until 7pm that night, and I try to be patient. My mother believes she is ordering a cake. She must.
Moving on. I was in the kitchen this morning eating my breakfast of left over chicken parmesan (someone ate all the bagels, sadly) when out of the corner of my eye I saw my son get up from his sleeping position on the sofa in the living room. He hurriedly walked to the bottom of the stairs and stopped. He was thinking. He looked down at his belt, and then silently walked away from the stairs and out of the house.
Bryant heard the door open and close and got up to see where Seamus thought he was going.
“He’s going outside to pee.” I explained, hoping to quell any additional mounting curiosity.
Suddenly everyone was rushing to the windows to see if what I said was true.
Seamus was outside.
But Seamus was peeing on the house. That was an issue.
When he realized he had an audience - he ran. But he just ran to another side of the house. The crowd followed him. Collected him and put him in a bathroom. He was peevish so he stayed in there for quite a while. I brought him his movie player and a juice box. He could now comfortably stay in there forever.
Little boys should be allowed to pee outside from time to time. Maybe just instructed to pee away from the building.
Seamus has been attending Farm Camp on the neighboring island this past week. He comes home with these dreamy stories that make me want to lock him in a closet and try to go in his place.
“What did you do at Camp today?”
“We took the baby goats for a walk down to the beach. They like to eat seaweed. But they don’t swim. So we played tag on the rocks.”
“Were they on leashes?”
<blink> he looked at me as if I was an idiot.
“No mom. They are goats... not dogs.”
“Well excuse me John Kennedy Jr. but most people don’t take BABY goats anywhere! Especially not in a ‘sound of music’ glorious, meandering pack down to the beach on the farm camp that looks like it’s on Martha Stewart’s bloody estate WHICH I might mention is on another island that I have to ferry you to in a boat from our island at 9am every morning, to your awaiting farm shuttle ride. Yes.... I expected there to be some sort of goat control in place because I can’t control your grandparents without ropes and last I checked goats were not obedient or destination focused.”
He looked non-plussed and went back to eating his sandwich and squashing an ant with his finger.
Later I would relate this story to my mother in the kitchen.
“Oh yeah. You had the same childhood. Actually yours was even worse. Or better, depending on which perspective you take. You kids lived like Vanderbilt’s. It was like an on-going movie dream sequence. You were spoiled rotten. It was disgustingly annoying.”
“But I turned out all right.”
“Yeah, .. sure.”