New Story Podcast – Where Am I Supposed To Look?

The kids dug into the ground and the baby toddled off, hand-in-hand with my wife, to explore the beach some more. That left me sitting there on my giant blue blanket all by myself.

Let me paint the scene, I’m 44, pale as all hell (first time the legs have seen the sun since last fall), my Carhartt ball cap pulled down over my forehead and rocking my groovy old-man sunglasses, the kind that slip on OVER my real glasses. Not really a ton of hubba hubba coming from the big blue blanket. Which is fine, not what I’m going for anyway.

Hello ladies!

I’m sitting there. Watching my kids, but taking in my surroundings. Then, it dawns on me.

Where am I supposed to look?

Honestly – I didn’t know. I’m not saying I ended up in a panic attack, but all the same, I was in a conundrum of modern political correctness.

As my eyes wandered around I stopped to watch a volleyball game. But as I watched I realized that suddenly, I became the guy, sitting by himself on the big blue blanket, staring at a group of 30-something year old shirtless men diving around in the sand. I was honestly watching the game. I used to enjoy volleyball. Played a lot at Jon’s lake house back in the day. But, oh man, that was uncomfortable when I realized some people looking back at me.



But, where am I supposed to look?

I shifted my gaze and a group, I would almost venture to say a makeshift parade, of young women in bathing suits walked by. When I tell you I was innocently looking their way, I mean it. Nothing in my mind was thinking of anything but – hey a group of people in colorful outfits. Yet, as they looked back at me, suddenly I became the guy, sitting by himself on the big blue blanket, staring at a group of 20-something year old women in outfits straight out of the Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issue.

But, where am I supposed to look?

I quickly turned away and focused on a group of kiddies trying to boogie board just off the shoreline in front of me. Cute kids, running in and out of the water, flailing their bodies into the cold sea (it IS NOT summer yet) and trying to will their bodies the ability to float on a piece of Styrofoam with bright colors and emblazoned with several of your favorite members of the Paw Patrol gang.

A parent with the kids looked my way and I smiled and waved. Then it dawned on me. Suddenly I became the guy, sitting by himself on the big blue blanket, staring at a group of little kids playing in the water. I’m Captain Creepy.

But, where am I supposed to look?

I turned back to my kids. One is waist deep in the sand and the other had collected every shiny rock this beach has produced over the past millennia. You can bet a bucket full are coming home with us.

I looked at them and as their gaze met mine, their faces lit up. They were so proud to show off what they’ve been working on. My kids love a good project and having Dad enjoy their work makes it even better, right?

Their little eyes twinkled, their dimples puckered out and they both let out a heart-warming giggle – directed right back to the guy sitting by himself on the big blue blanket. The guy letting them know they’re safe and the guy letting them know that what they’re working on is amazing.

The guy who is going to clean the sand from between their toes, including the fecal particles, as we walk back to the car and the guy who will buckle them safely into their car seats with a kiss on their foreheads. The guy who is going to carry them, if they fall asleep, into the house. The guy who, although having an extreme love-hate relationship with the beach, just sat there for two hours, not knowing where to look, so THEY could have fun.

Ya know what? Never mind my original question. I know EXACTLY where I’m supposed to look.

Well, that’s my story. Be sure to subscribe and find more here at MindofModernMan.com, on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter and YouTube.

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