Picture yourself sitting on the beach, it's a gorgeous day, perfect weather. You're looking at the beautiful ocean laid out before you and you notice a boy about 11 yrs old at the water's edge, something about him sparks your interest, why is he just standing there, you realize he doesn't want to get wet, and he's waving his arms in a rather strange way. Then it hits you, he's blind, and the man gently trying to convince him it's only water is his Dad. Your heart hurts for this young boy that can not see the beauty of what you are seeing. You're distracted for a moment and out of the corner of your eye you see a young girl about 8 yrs old approaching the blind boy with a bright yellow pail filled with water and in the next second she throws the water in the blind boys face! The blind boy becomes completely hysterical, the dad in a rage at the little girl is trying to soothe his hysterical blind child. A woman is now on the scene apparently the little girls mother and drags her off the beach. Eventually the blind boys father is able to calm him down and they leave the beach as well. You just sit there thinking just how mean children can be. The entire scene leaves you with questions rolling over in your mind, why did the little girl do something so mean? Was the blind boy ever going to go near water again? Did the father of the boy ever get to tell the little girls mother what he thought about her daughter?
I have all the answers to your questions. This is a true story, it happened exactly as it was told on a beach in Brigantine, New Jersey in 1959. Do you want to know how I know it was true? Okay I'll tell you. I was the little girl in the story and can explain exactly why I did what I did. First, I will answer your questions. The blind boy was my cousin Phillip who was born blind. His father Sammy never forgave me for what I did that day. My mother beat the living tar out of me and I never said a word in my own defense, I didn't care about the beating I got, or the fact that Phillip cried everytime he heard my voice. As the years went by, Phillip eventually learned to love the water, and my mother pretty much forgot what had happened. But Sammy the father never did, he was always civil to me but he knew that I knew it was something he just couldn't forget or forgive and that was fine with me as well. Now, I'll tell you why I did what I did. As far back as my memory will take me it was always important to me that fathers and mothers loved their children. Why was this important to me, why did I need to know beyond a shadow of a doubt, sorry but I have no clue. Maybe it was something in my childhood, I truly have no idea. However, what I do know is that I wanted to know if my blind cousins father loved him. Keep in mind I was only 8 years old. That day on the beach when I saw Phillip and his Dad, I watched and wondered and made the foolish decision to find out. I knew throwing the water on Phillip was mean but the answer was more important to me. So I threw it right in his face, can you imagine throwing a bucket of water in a blind boys face! Trust me here when I say if Phillips Dad could have gotten away with burying me alive in the sand he would have. He was absolutely furious. And that was exactly the reaction I was hoping for, if he didn't love Phillip he wouldn't be angry. So guess what, in my 8 year old head I was happy, happy for Phillip, so happy that Phillip's Dad loved him. My mother near killed me herself, I still didn't care, I was happy happy happy - Phillip had a Dad that loved him and I had proved it!
Some of you are wondering if I have a point here, I do. Till this day I'm not sure of what conclusion my mother came to about why I did what I did. When it happened did she ever ask me why I did what I did? Nope. Not once. Did we ever have a heart to heart about why I did what I did? Nope. Never. Granted this was in 1958 and the parents of then were a lot different than today's parents. When your child misbehaves take the time to find out why he or she did what they did. Sometimes the explanation will shock you. Finding out why doesn't excuse a childs behavior, but it does give the parent the opportunity to offer some understanding and wisdom. Ciao (chow)