Dame! Kitanai!

The boy was trying to get his mother’s attention. The small child, wearing a sun hat and a shirt that matched his mother’s dress wouldn’t stop pointing. The mother, however, just wanted to be left alone to her novel. It wasn’t often that she had time to read, not like she did when she was a high school student.


The child pointed vaguely in the direction of a man. But she wasn’t interested in the man, she was interested in her book. More importantly, she was interested in the dashing hero and what he would do to the vulnerable female protagonist. Then the child did something very unusual — he started rubbing his nose.


“Dame! Kitanai!” the mother said. (Don’t! Dirty!)


Then the child started pretending that he was surfing.


Couldn’t she just be left alone for a few moments? In the novel, the heroine was at an intimate dinner with her prince charming. The child pretended that he was surfing. That was safe enough. Finally, the child was getting to the age where she didn’t have to watch him every second of the day.


That’s right, she thought. Play freely now while you still have the chance.


She managed to get through a page without interruption. The child was bedazzled by the actions of a man just out of view. What was the man doing? It didn’t matter. What all men do on Fujisawa beach — dry off on the shore, wax their surfboards, brush salt water from their hair.


“Dame! Kitanai” the boy said pointing to the man. “Dame! Kitanai!” the boy said louder.


The mother put down her book and scolded the child. “Don’t point and yell at other people,” she said.

This confused the boy since he was always being yelled at for just about everything.


The boy just stared at the mother for a long time. She couldn’t help but smile. He was so handsome, just like his father.


Then the boy jammed his finger into his nose and at the same time said without thinking, “Mama, boku kitanai!” And then he started laughing.



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