‘But she’s brown’, says the little girl in the rock pool, glancing at my daughter. ‘Yes she is’. The girl is persistent: ‘Why?’‘ Because her daddy is brown’. A lightbulb moment (my daughter and I suddenly ‘make sense’, together), a smile and an invitation: ‘She can play with my body board’.
A surfer—wetsuit folded down, a heavily tattooed torso—strides with purpose towards a Tanzanian man and his daughter, playing at Cronulla Beach. ‘I see you here a lot’. This sentence is thrown forth in a gruff tone. My husband’s mind starts hatching plans to keep our little girl safe, should this situation get ugly. ‘Yes, we come down here most days, when it’s warm’. The surfer smiles, ‘That’s great’.