About Kari Wagner-Peck

Kari Wagner-Peck lives with her husband and son in Maine. She is a writer & storyteller who home schools with her son. She has a M.S.W. and has been at various times a practicing social worker, documentary videographer, film festival director and retail clerk. She is the author of Not Always Happy: An Unusual Parenting Journey, May, 2017, Central Recovery Press. She has been published at The New York Times Well Family blog, The Huffington Post, The The Good Men Project, The Sydney Morning Herald Daily Life blog, BLOOM and Love That Max among others. Author page: kariwagnerpeck.com Twitter @KariWagnerPeck and Facebook: www.facebook.com/NotAlwaysHappyLive/ Email: kariwagnerpeck@gmail.com

The Stalker at the Beach


On a beach somewhere in Maine you see a small blonde-haired boy bodysurfing. His mother — that’s right his mother, not grandmother, bitch– is watching lovingly from the sidelines not yet aware a stalker has descended.

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Thorin’s Endless Summer

Cue the soundtrack from Jaws.

Out of the corner of her eye, the mother, sees a middle-aged woman (these types are always middle-aged women) laser-focused on her son who also happens to have Down syndrome. You stare at her and she smiles back. Crap, you recognize she is a Do-Gooder! Every summer you come across them. They have some kind of nebulous connection to a child with a disability. Meaning they think “they” are all alike and super special.

You ignore her because your son isn’t even aware of her. He’s doing his thing, Man. As she circles closer and closer into his space the soundtrack picks up in tempo and volume, she’s coming in for the kill. Your only hope is she will come for you and not him. As she saunters over–as much as you can saunter in waves, you steel yourself.

“Hello! Are you his grandmother?”

“No, I’m the mother.”

“I work with special needs kids.”

“Okay.” In your mind you are thinking: “I wish you wouldn’t.”

Your husband, who is super hot, shows up– he’s been through this with you for years. He puts his arm around your shoulder. He doesn’t say a word to the woman.

That doesn’t deter her, “I love to watch these kids! They’re so special.”

Ward and I reflexively grimace– because it’s creepy, right? Doesn’t she get to watch them enough at work?

“Can I go say, “Hi” to him?,” she wonders.

“Do you have to?” I answer.

She smiles a crumpled smile and looks confused. Then she moves back toward the shore where she belongs. The soundtrack recedes. You got this!

Thorin is never the wiser. That makes you and Ward very happy.

I know she doesn’t get IT. Here’s the IT. What if some guy stared at a well-endowed woman at the beach. He starts circling her. She gets nervous. He comes to her, smiling: “Hey, I’m a breast guy. I’m admiring your breasts. You have quite a rack. I could watch you do anything!”

Shocker, it’s not appreciated! Either was this chick’s comments about Thorin. The beach is about The Chill and The Cool and The Mellow, Man. Don’t Harsh Our Buzz.


Thorin and Ella on the beach.

We are beach people. Here’s a lovely post about what’s good about the beach.