Wednesday, August 09, 2006

Growing Up

At La Jolla cove, near the university in San Diego where my older son attended college, I once saw a mother harbor seal nudge her pup into the waves. I'd thought that seals took naturally to the ocean, but that little cream-colored pup, only 24 hours old, screamed as the cold salt water hit his body.

Now that my older son has graduated from college and moved to Europe, I've been thinking about the process of "launching" children into the wide world. Although this son, born of a European father and American mother, was born to swim in international waters, and he threw himself into the deep long before I had a chance to nudge him, I suspect the cold and the salt and the penetrating wet are sometimes a shock.

Photo: Harbor seals at La Jolla, California, in June 2006.