Water Water Everywhere

When Mom was pregnant with me, Lyn was just two and still non-verbal.  Impulse control did not exist.  They lived in Alabama, having been stationed at Red Stone Arsenal.

One summer day, they took a picnic to a grassy area near the river.  Lyn was fascinated with the water and kept wanting to get into it.  Mom was 8 months pregnant and was unable to move quickly.  Our father and a buddy wanted to go fishing and were not planning to stay with Mom.  Mom pointed out to the guys that there was a problem.  Lyn needed hands-on care to be kept out of the river for her own safety.

The men contemplated the situation and came up with a solution.  From the trunk, they pulled out a length of nylon parachute cord.  They cut off a length of cord.  One end was gently tied around Lyn's waist.  The other was tied around the tree.  Lyn had at least 15 feet of cord to walk around and play.  Mom set the blanket at the base of the tree and settled in for the afternoon.

While they were setting up, two MP's drove by and waved.  After the men went down to the river to fish, the MP's happened back by, waved again and stopped about 10 feet down the road.  They threw the jeep into reverse and quickly came back.

"Ma'am, you cannot tie that child to a tree." One of the MP's called out to Mom as they hopped out of the jeep.  Mom pointed out that if Lyn wasn't secured, she'd bolt for the river and Mom couldn't catch her.

As Mom was speaking to one, the other untied Lyn.  The whole time, he was telling her to stay with her Mom, to not run to the river and to be a good girl.  Lyn nodded her head as she always did when people spoke to her.  As soon as the cord was untied, she sprinted for the river.  The MP was stunned and barely caught her before she fell in.

He brought her back and went through his speech.  The other MP and Mom watched as he tried again to reason with her.  As soon as he let go, she was off like a shot again.  Once more he caught her and brought her back.  The warnings were issued a third time, more sternly this time.  Lyn continued to smile and nod.  He let go and had to scramble to get her before she was swept away.

This time, upon returning to the tree, he tied the cord gently back around her waist.  The MP's told Mom to enjoy her afternoon and they drove off.  They reported the incident to their superior officer who happened to be Mom's neighbor.  He was familiar with Lyn and the family situation.

Lyn has always been attracted to the sound of running water.  It was evident as a toddler and it is evident as an adult.

The Spirit of Norfolk
When I used to live in Virginia Beach and Norfolk, Lyn wanted to see the water or the boats each time she visited.  We always accommodated that desire because we knew she wouldn't throw herself in the water.

Norfolk's Waterside


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