Today was one of those drop-dead gorgeous days that lulls you into loving Okinawa. It was chilly this morning. Chilly! After naps we headed down to the Sunabe seawall for a walk, armed with my camera and a couple of different lenses, of course. It was breathtaking. It was windy with Hawaiian waves, the setting sun was peeking and booing from behind the clouds, the East China Sea was molten gold, and all that. There were the usual bleeding surfers.
One of the hardest things about being a mother is finding that sweet spot between trusting your husband with your daughter's life (letting him do all of those fun things that dads like to do with them) and stepping in as the more risk-averse parent to stop something terrible from happening. It is so hard to find that balance, and it is 1,478% harder when your husband is a warrior type. There is marital tension involved, mother guilt and worry involved, etc. More on that in a minute; this will all tie together.
So, I was much-absorbed in my photographing, really in the zone and ignoring what was going on around me. I knew the Pater Familias had Eva. But I noticed a couple walking by was kind of staring at me and at the stroller, which was near some steps that went from the seawall down to a walkway right at water level. They wanted to speak. They were saying "Your baby is rolling." I went over at a leisurely pace and parked the stroller slightly more securely then walked to my original spot, about 25 feet away from it. They couldn't see into the stroller because its back was to them. They stood there awkwardly. Hmm, maybe they like my face and want to talk?
"Uh, your stroller was rolling toward the stairs..." they were clearly concerned about the peril it had been in. I laughed, "I know, real funny joke, right?" Having an empty stroller rolling toward cement stairs kind of reminded me of whatever absolutely horrible prank TV show where they put realistic baby dolls in terrible situations and film people freaking out. The woman seemed exasperated and strode toward my stroller and looked into it with Reponsible Stranger Concern.
Oh. They thought I was the worst mother ever. Now they laughed. No, I was not leaving my baby to roll down 20 cement steps into the stormy ocean while I was taking pictures of clouds.
"She's with her dad!" I chuckled.
Then they saw where she was with her dad.
On the walkway below the seawall, with the freakishly large waves practically lapping around her ankles.
They walked on slowly, disapprovingly. Now they just thought I was the second-worst mother ever.
I know a lot of people would put their best picture at the beginning. I put it at the end. It's your reward.