Ben hates to get water in his face. Showers are a power struggle, swim lessons were a no-go and even water parks are a turn off since he came down the slide and--because he was so light--flew off the end so fast, he didn't have time to stand up. He actually ended up going under water in a sitting position.
But he wants to overcome this fear and loathing, and this is never more evident than when he watches his brother make friends with every other kid on the beach, and then head out into the waves with them to boogie board.
So I hold Ben's hand, and we stand waist-deep in the ocean. The waves come up, Ben jumps and turns his head away from the splash, and asks me every few minutes to go out farther into the water. Occasionally when a wave splashes him in the face, he drops my hand, runs to the towel to dry himself off, and then returns for more.
Last night was a full moon, and I remembered it today when we were at the beach playing chicken with the waves near the shore. We watched Jacob, his friends and his dad frolicking in the swells, and I decided to see if Ben knew about the effect of the moon on the waves.
"Hey Ben, do you know who controls the waves?" I asked him. His eyes widened at the thought that someone was actually in charge of these things, and for a moment I thought he was going to say, "Pop-pop?"
"Who?" he asked, clearly intrigued. I could imagine him silently penning a letter to this person as we spoke.
"The Man in the Moon," I told him. But before I could explain how it all worked, he looked out at his brother and said, with no hint of sarcasm,
"Well I wish he'd turn them off for a while so I could go out farther."