Sharon’s Freedom

Story time again.  I’m participating in the writing meme hosted by The Red Dress Club.  This week we picked four numbers between 1 and 10.  Each number corresponded to a character, setting, time, and situation that we had to use to create our story.  See if you can guess mine. (Ooh, it’s like a party game!)  As usual, comments and constructive criticism are much appreciated.  Meanness is not.


Sharon’s Freedom

“Ninetieth percentile,” Greg said.   “Can you believe it?   I can’t believe how big he’s gotten already.”

“I can’t stand it,” Sharon said, “pull over.”

“What?” asked Greg.

Sharon raised her voice, “Pull over!  I can’t stand the crying!”

Greg turned the car down the nearest street.   “Do you think he’s hungry?  Or do you think it’s the shots he got.  I couldn’t believe how big those needles were.  You’d think they’d use smaller needles on a baby.   Are you going to try feeding him again?  I’ll pull into the parking lot.  There shouldn’t be many people this time of year.”

He turned into one of the parking lots dotting the beaches in Santa Monica.   A few cars were scattered in the lot.    A surfer peeled off his wetsuit behind the tailgate of his truck.  Sharon noticed the large sunburst tattoo covering his right shoulder and wrapping down his back.   She watched him undress as their car passed.

When the car stopped Sharon got out and closed the door.  The tranquil sound of crashing waves replaced the screaming of her baby.    The wind whipping off the ocean made her catch her breath.   She pulled the hood of her sweatshirt up.  It was early April, but the chill of winter hung around the beach.

Sharon closed her eyes, and inhaled deeply.  She began walking toward the ocean, following the salty scent of the water.   She heard a car door slam.

“Sharon!”  Greg shouted.  “Sharon!  Where are you going?  The baby’s crying.  He’s hungry.  Sharon?  Do you want me to bring him to you?  Don’t you think it’s too cold for him here?”

Sharon walked across the bike path and into the cool sand.  Her ankles buckled a little on the shifting surface.  She walked, stumbling frequently, to the water’s edge.  The soft roar of the ocean filled her head.   A few surfers bobbed in the lineup.

She slipped off her shoes and dug her toes into the firm, wet sand.

It had been weeks since she had been out of the house and months since she had been in the water.  Surfing while pregnant just wasn’t done.  She had thought after the baby was born there would be time for surfing again.  Instead she found that although her body was hers once again, all her time belonged to him.  She spent the last eight weeks in a never ending cycle of breastfeeding, changing poop filled diapers, and praying the baby would sleep three hours in a row.

The water came up and licked her feet.  She jumped back, shocked by the cold.  This was full wetsuit weather.

The sound of a child drew her attention down the beach.  A family of three stood on the shore; tourists who thought southern California would be warm.  The parents looked cold in their shorts and tank tops, vigorously rubbing their arms.  The little girl seemed not to notice the temperature, chasing the surf and the seagulls in only a yellow swimsuit.  She squealed excitedly when a wave caught her.

Sharon smiled.  She slipped off her black sweatpants and pulled her sweatshirt over her head.  She stood for a moment with her hands on her hips, like a superhero in her full coverage panties and nursing bra, before running into the surf.

She rose up on her tiptoes as the icy water hit her flabby belly.   Deterred only momentarily, she dove through the surf.  Past the break line, she laid back, ears in the water, arms and legs spread like a starfish.    She closed her eyes and let her body drift in the familiar rhythm of the waves.

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44 Responses to “Sharon’s Freedom”

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  1. jaded16 says:

    WOW. I think I loved this more than the last one. You do so much with so little, it’s commendable :)

  2. liz
    Twitter: bellebeandog

    I loved this post so much I stumble it for you. Great job!!

  3. Ratz says:

    Oh! this is amazing….. Enjoyed the way you have captured the essence of Sharon esp. the superhero part… Mindblowing

  4. Corinne
    Twitter: crnnoel

    I have chills :) This was such a good read. I think we’ve all been there, and any mother can relate.
    As a beach lover, I’m so drawn to words about the ocean. This line left me smiling, I never thought of it like that: “The water came up and licked her feet.”
    Lovely! And the superhero description – LOVE!

  5. Ashley
    Twitter: AKnLAbird

    Definitely can relate. Love it! I’m so excited about all of the stories from the red dress club. Great writing!

  6. The Drama Mama
    Twitter: poopscoopinmama

    I could actually feel the cold touch of the ocean and I applauded that she stripped right there on the beach and gave in to what her soul yearned for.

  7. Kristy says:

    I really liked it! It really drew me in, was easy to read, and the character was completely relatable. I did a prompt as well this week for the red dress meme:

  8. lucy
    Twitter: lucilleinthesky

    Um, I think you just described my life. Thank you for writing this. It makes me feel (1) less crazy and (2) not alone. Following!

  9. Sometimes you just have to break away or break. You said more with less. Congratulations. You have a fun blog. Roland

  10. I’m finally making it around to read the other meme posts. This was very beautifully written. I so felt her desperation and her renewal. Great post!


  11. Missy
    Twitter: MS_WonderFriend

    I totally relate to your character’s desire to run away. Great job.

  12. Cheryl @ Mommypants
    Twitter: mommy_pants

    I really, really related to that feeling of wanting to escape (two kids with colic will do that to you) and trying to recapture that feeling of being completely selfish, of being an independent being. I loved this – great job!

  13. Rebekah C
    Twitter: RCThoughtfulMom

    I really loved where you went with this. It’s like, a little piece of new-momma-hood that just about every mother can relate to. Well done. :)

    (stopped in from Red Dress)

  14. ericka @ alabaster cow
    Twitter: alabastercow

    your main character is very real to me – i want to take a break and swim in that water! you’ve captured a very real thing and have done so with vibrant description and true to life dialogue. well done!

  15. Ash
    Twitter: AshatShades

    “She stood for a moment with her hands on her hips, like a superhero in her full coverage panties and nursing bra, before running into the surf.”

    Every new mom should read those words. Your talent blows me away, and leaves me somewhat envious ;-)

    Can’t wait to read what you create for this Friday.

  16. The Drama Mama
    Twitter: poopscoopinmama

    I’m enjoying revisiting Sharon again and awing the vividness all over again. It helps that I am reading this in my drafty living room in the dead of winter in a Christmas snowstorm, too. Haha.

    Even better the second time around.

  17. cristina says:

    Ah, I remember this piece. This had been the week I had stumbled upon the RDC.. and I was floored by all the amazing writing, yours one of my favorites for sure. :)

  18. Ash
    Twitter: AshatShades

    I’m so thrilled you chose this post. One of the first I read after joining TRDC, and one that has stuck with me. From the suffocating feeling in the car to the oblivious husband on the beach, not to mention the bra and undies, I love it all.

    I need a trip to the beach soon, for sure.

    Happiest of New Year’s Jessica Anne!!

  19. Carrie
    Twitter: Miss_Scarlett99

    I loved this. I think almost every new mom can relate to how Sharon was feeling. I know I felt trapped many times by a constantly feeding baby and not knowing what to do.

    I love getting to read some of the prompts I missed. I don’t think I started doing RWH until September :)

  20. CDG
    Twitter: MoveOverMaryP

    I missed this the first time around, since I was brand new to TRDC. So glad to have found this via your feature!

  21. Adelle @ ready...GO!...get set...
    Twitter: readygogetset

    Ahhh…I so have been there. That feeling that nothing will ever be the same (yet here I am three years later, still living).

    I really enjoyed this! Def like the minimalist approach as well.

    Happy New Year!

  22. Kristy says:

    Yes, I remember this one, it was great. All moms have been there! Here again from RDC!

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