Friday, April 22, 2011

Fair to Middlin'

Tonight was our last dinner at the beach, and as we gathered around the table, someone proposed that each person share the highlight of the week for them. Next it was the low point, which was sort of negative, but still interesting, and then five-year-old Richard suggested that we tell the middle of our vacation.

We asked him what he meant by that, and he explained that it was something kind of good, but kind of bad, too. He went first. "My middle was when a wave hit me in he face," he said.

Fifteen-year-old Treat was skeptical. "That was the mid-point of your week?" he asked. "Half of the week was worse than getting a face full of salt water? You couldn't have had a very good time."

The adults around the table wanted to jump in and defend Richard, but we were silenced by his explanation. "Treat," he said, "that was my middle because I was a big boy when the water hit me."

His answer clarified the task for us, and next Treat told us about the horseshoe crab tail that he carried all the way back from his bike ride only to discard it in disappointment when he found that everyone else had left the beach to go home.

Emily paused a little before she started. "What was my bittersweet moment?" she wondered aloud, and that word, bittersweet, really helped the rest of us get it. As it turned out, there was much more discussion about those in between times that each of us described than of any of the the highs or the lows, and those stories somehow seemed a lot more revealing and true, too.

What a good question, Richard!

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