08/24/2022 0 By BuddyCushman

Back 11 years – and many of those years going forward toward now – I would sit in the passenger seat and let my wife drive me in her parents second car – an older Corolla – from their house 13 miles out in the County to Ocean Beach. There we would place towels on the sand and wade into the water. Not an option back in Portland, Oregon. Or even the two-hours-away Oregon coast.

One of the things most wonderful about getting to be in and splash around in and sometimes kiss in and surely laugh in, one of the most wonderful parts of it was watching little kids on boogie boards. They’d come flying in on the white-water of waves, right into the shore, and with the most wonderful faces filled with total joy. Big, wide-eyed, seemingly endless joy. I was always thrilled to see those kids and their laughing faces, and would often dream about being them, doing what they were doing, feeling the way they were so clearly feeling.

Yesterday, Tuesday afternoon, I was on my boogie board, just down the beach from where the wife and I would play, and two times I saw this little kid, close by the shoreline, stare at me charging in on the white-water, his eyes wide open, a big smile on his face, because here came some guy on a boogie board with this insanely happy face filled with wonder. That endless joy. Nothing else in the world but this right here, right now joyous fun.

And later I ran into Zack up on the warm grass, where I was drying off my feet for socks and shoes, and I told him what I just told you. Being able to switch places, me being the kid wild with happiness. Out there in the ocean. For a while.