Just Let Me Do It…

By Carissa Nevill
Somewhere, sometime, when I was writing down goals—because that is what they say to do—I decided I want to purposely write something every day. I love words. I love painting pictures with the words and was encouraged when The Crystal Beach Local News was kind enough to publish a story of mine a while back, calledRoads I’ve Never Been Down.” It was the product of a year or so of overthinking and rewording a theme of my life that I wish I had more time and cash to pursue: wandering. Poetic thoughts and phrases would come to my mind after our first ever trip to the Bolivar Peninsula and I would write them down with a pen, pencil or crayon on whatever scrap of paper I had available. These were eventually sewn together into a story I was proud for others to read.

What happened to this lofty goal of mine to write every day? Like many other goals, it went to the back burner. It was not forgotten, though. I remember it every time I find a new issue of the Local News in my inbox. I usually read each piece, trying to picture where the events are taking place. I have even created voices (in my head, of course) for the featured writers, as if I were friends with all of them. Don’t laugh, it’s what I do and I have never claimed to be normal! Besides, as you read, what do I sound like in your head, right now? I have enjoyed stories about your local activities, mourned with you the loss of beloved residents and been outraged by accounts of groups who misuse the beaches. And don’t even get me started discussing those state legislators!

Now, may I tell you another story?

That first vacation to Crystal Beach has led to dreams of retiring to your lovely stretch of sparkly sand. In July, two years later, we finally returned for another visit. We laid our heads in Port Bolivar, on the water but not on the beach, as before. Our home felt like some Italian villa with all the panoramic views of an impressionist painting. Those tugboats with their lazy barges were right off our balcony. Their comings and goings made for some peaceful meditation. But this trip felt different. In a way, it was both melancholy and joyful because of one ordinary moment that signaled a great change in how I think of my son and in my relationship with him.

I’m a simple girl. I am independent but I believe God set things up in a certain way. My husband is the head of our house and we look to him for direction and help and love. He is capable and can literally fix any broken thing. He is my hero. Conversely, my son is…a teenaged boy. Part angel and part devil in the details of my life. Both he and his sister depend on my husband and me to be their parents. I am accustomed to passing out permissions and giving advice, whether it is taken or not. I am a cheerleader but also a heavy when the answer is “no”. Yet with one phrase, I found myself in an entirely different position. “Mom, just let me do it.”

Joe stayed at “the villa” while the kids and I took excursions to the beach. If I could just be a beachcomber the rest of my life…. Anyway, having stayed in a beach-front house before, I had never driven on the sand. Piles of the stuff mounded at every beach entrance made me doubt I could navigate the roads without getting stuck. Indecision had me parked, staring at the fluffy obstacle ahead. Hesitation is never a good thing with teenagers in the car. They become vultures, mercilessly picking at you and teasing you while sighing and rolling their eyes. “Mom, just let me do it. I can do it” came a confident voice from the back seat.

Without realizing it, my son grew up right in that exact moment.

You see, with or without permission, this country boy of mine routinely drives all of the sandy roads around our dusty, west Texas town like Bo Duke. I knew that he really was capable of getting us onto the beach without spinning our wheels. So, with pride and a little sadness I climbed out of the driver’s seat and let him do it.

My daughter was born a young lady, filled with grace from the beginning, but my son had always been a little boy complete with snails, puppy dog tails and funky boy smell. Now, in this very small way, he began taking care of me and I have another hero in the making. The little one who loved to play in the dirt and make things explode had casually driven over the threshold into whatever it is that comes after boyhood.

God sweetly brought me to a place I love in order to break it to me that my son was indeed growing up. And he was doing it despite my unintentional efforts to keep him little. It was a small moment, an ordinary happening, like a grain of white sand on Crystal Beach. It will remain one of my favorite memories, of that trip. One day, I will tell him about it.

Now, on to the next coming of age challenge: my daughter will go to college next year. How did any of this happen? I have no idea. I need a vacation.


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