Originally posted on FB, 25 April 2021
• Written by Lesa Quale Ferguson•

During our family spring break in Hilton Head, my husband Dave set up a fishing spot for the boys along Coligny Creek, upstream from where it flowed into the ocean. The boys, who longed for adventure rather than sitting still to fish, decided to ford the creek. They found their spot downstream. Cal whipped off his shirt and held it over his head like he was in the Peace Corps, and this was the Amazon. The water level was at Enzo’s chest but deeper for Cal, rising almost to his neck midway. On the shore beside me was another family I had briefly spoken to before the Great Crossing. The mom seemed amused by the boys’ crossing and inquired if I was “fostering him,” referring to Cal.

It’s been so long (years) since anyone has asked “those” kinds of questions. Remembering how we appear outside our orbit, far from home, is jarring. I told her we adopted Cal at birth and then scooted closer to the shoreline.

As the boys completed their epic quest, they pumped their fists victorious when Dave arrived with a live crab. Enzo rushed back across, and Dave awarded him the crustacean.

From the crab-less side of the stream, Cal roared. He had attempted to come back across with Enzo, but from this side of the creek, he perceived a cataclysmic cold-water surge. In my super-duper unhelpful way, I yelled across the stream, “Perception isn’t reality.” 

Left alone and frustrated, my indifference and his nearness to an expanse of the ocean weren’t thwarting his lust for the crab. Cal hurled his sandal into the drink. 

The mom followed me, “I think it’s so incredible what you and your husband did. No one wants to adopt anything around here but Sea Turtles.”

I wondered about this explosion of turtle adoptions. What was the Home Study like on that? Cal issued forth an unending stream of “Mommys.” I asked Enzo to go on a reconnaissance mission. Patient and faithful as ever, Enzo waded across with the crab overhead—pincers pinching—to retrieve his cousin and the shoe.

As I watched Enz gather the shoe without dropping the crab, the mom sidled up and spewed about this maddening fad of Sea Turtle adoption. Then she moved on to other liberal hot takes like gun control. Sea Turtle adoption and Gun Control were all anyone cared about when babies were being slaughtered every single day. 

I dug my toes into the silky sand along the shore while she traversed her sinkhole. Her solution: she would adopt them all, saving them from murder.

“So… your children are adopted?” I asked while I kept my eyes trained on the boys. Enzo offered Cal the sandal and the crab. Cal put his shoe back on.

She stammered her response, “No, I mean. I can’t. Look at all the children I already have. It would be impossible.” 

How do these kind of arguments even make it to the Supreme Court? They’re all perception and no reality. 

I let her splutter while Enzo safely retrieved his cousin and footwear. By then, she had worked herself into such a state that I almost gave her Cal’s shoe to throw. I realized that even Enzo couldn’t rescue this lady back to sane discourse, and we would be out one shoe.

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Lesa Quale Ferguson

Writer + Picture Taker ^ Image-Maker & Design Web-ber #Ma

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