The other day I was on the beach at Cooper’s in Southampton and was enjoying the sun (instead of hating it thanks to the hot weather these days) and out of the corner of my eye I noticed that a father on the beach was completely freaking out. It appeared he had lost something…”Have you heard from her yet? Where is she?”
Uh oh, I thought.
I listened in on the conversation that he was having with his son, and quickly learned that the father had lost track of his 13-year-old daughter. I looked out at the water, it was calm, it would surprise me if she got swept out to sea, but one cell phone call after another kept going out, and the more he dialed and didn’t get her to answer, the angrier and more scared he got.
“So help me when I find her she’s never going to the beach ever again for the rest of her life,” he declared.
I felt bad for this guy, he was really losing it and needed to do something about it. Everybody within speaking distance of him pretended that they couldn’t hear him, but all of us could. I started thinking to myself how I would handle a situation like that. I don’t have a kid so I have no idea how I would go about it, but I’d like to think that I’d at least keep my wits about me. But then again, if I lost my daughter, I’d most likely be pretty freaked out.
The family consisted of a mother, a father, a Grandmother and a son. They were missing the daughter of course. By far, the one with the coolest head was the Grandmother. I watched as the father begin a brisk jog down the beach heading West, while the mother started walking briskly down the beach heading East. The son went up to the parking lot and patio area, and the Grandmother sat underneath the umbrella. I couldn’t help myself and walked over to her.
“Just so you know, it’s pretty calm today, I can’t imagine that she was swept away,” I said.
“Yes I know. I’m sure she’s laying down with some boys somewhere or smoking a cigarette or some other terrible thing that teenagers do to torture their fathers,” she laughed, “I just hope she turns up before the sun goes down.”
Her calmness sort of startled me. She KNEW that there was nothing really wrong. Like I could tell she knew. I could tell she knew her granddaughter was the type of girl who would sneak off at the beach and get herself in trouble, and I could tell she wasn’t worried, really in any way. I think I was more worried than she was now that I think about it.
“Ha. Okay, well, good luck,” I said.
I then went back to my towel and waited about 15 minutes, only to hear a female voice cry out, “I found her!”
It was the mother of the girl.
“Where was she?” the grandmother asked.
“Laying down on a towel talking to boys that she just met. Can you believe this, mom? I mean, really, she’s just so irresponsible.”
“Maybe it would be better not to say anything to your husband on this on?,” the grandma said.
I laughed to myself when I heard this, and then I got kind of sad and proud at the same time when I thought about how great of a grandma this woman was, and how much I miss having my grandma around in the summer.