The water ball hits and snaps my head back. Disoriented, I blink looking for the source of the attack. You! My eyes narrow as I see my brother laughing proudly in the corner of the pool.
Behind me my young son playfully slaps the shallow water, safe in his tropical colored life vest. Splash! My counterattack is unsuccessful making my brother cry hysterically with tears of pure joy while fighting for breath between snorting laughter.
Water balls flying wildly through the air and water while unsuspecting victims become collateral damage. The whole water war fades to slow motion as I get my moment, victory, right between his eyes.
I am overcome with pride at my beautifully executed attack when I hear it. Gurgling screaming seems uncharacteristic of the fun. We all freeze as we see the forgotten. In his young curiosity my son found his legs not long enough for the water. Panicked, he thrashes wildly while his life vest holds him up. Face in and out, air, water, air, water, and then ... salvation. In seconds I watch another's child pull mine to the safety of my frozen arms of guilt.
Heather Sargent - 2008
A down-to-earth wife and mother of four, Heather Sargent has more than enough to write about. From the insanity of daily life to the quiet, magical moments which include sleeping children, she finds humor and joy in her chaotic life.