In the moment my family suggests that we go to the beach, we have all transformed. Hubby has become Gandalf, the one who organizes and has all the answers to succeed in such a quest. The boys become Fili and Kili, ready for fun not caring a fig for the inconveniences. I have become Bilbo Baggins, and am entirely too reluctant to give up my creature comforts at home to brave the perils of a beach adventure.
But I know they love the beach, so for their benefit, I tag along, hoping I don’t dampen their experience.
So we pack everything up, all the towels, blankets, toys, sunblock, hats… you get the picture. In my case, we stop somewhere along the way so that I can pick up a satisfying gluten-free meal, because the boys haven’t yet figured out that they shouldn’t cross mommy when she’s hungry.
Because it’s a holiday weekend, we wait for an hour before getting up to the gate to pay, but at least we’re in the air-conditioned car. I have it on as full a blast as my family can stand, relishing the cool as much as possible, because I know what’s coming.
All too soon, I’m huddled under my beach umbrella, greasy from sunblock cream, trying to read my Kindle and thinking that I ought to be writing instead. The intense sensations however, will probably get in the way. My legs are blotchy and stinging from the salty air, my rings threaten to cut the circulation in my swollen fingers, and the sand sticks to my greasy, sweaty skin.
Note: Trying to brush sand off cream coated skin is as pointless as trying to brush crumbs off a sugar cookie.
But, I look at my boys.
They are having such a great time playing in the water with Daddy. They’re so cute and so small against the expansiveness of the Gulf of Mexico. Charlie, who’s three, wanders over to a group of girls and flirts with them. It makes me giggle.
But then William, who’s four, has grown tired of the water and wants to join me under the shade of the umbrella. So now I’ve got a dripping sandy kid getting my blanket wet. And, being a kid, he is not content to sit in the shade and enjoy the view. Nope, he has brought his bucket of water and is busy scooping clumps of sand (“sand rocks”) into it to make his “soup.” Every other handful results in him shaking his hands, effectively flinging it all over me. I’m relieved that I thought to put my Kindle in its clear plastic sleeve.
After a few hours, they have finally decided that they have had enough. So we put shoes on gritty feet because the sand might as well be hot coals. As we are trudging through the sand, I’m wondering if any Florida sports shops sell snow shoes. But I suppose that wouldn’t be attractive beach attire. Why must people insist on suffering for beauty?
All in all, it wasn’t a horrendous day. I was able to bite my tongue against my complaints and got some reading in. But by the time we get home, I have a headache so intense, I think a blood vessel might burst. At 9:30 pm on a Saturday night, I’ve fallen asleep on the couch before the pain reliever even kicks in.
Now I’m feeling guilty. It’s Sunday afternoon as I write this, and I’ve had a breakdown. I’m so tired and drained from the Florida sun every little annoyance pushes me to tears. I feel like a toddler in need of a nap. Charlie won’t take one, but I think I will anyway. After having spent the morning in church service, my behavior this afternoon is especially abhorrent. So, night-night!
Update: Charlie did end up napping, which was fortunate, because I ended up running a fever… lol
What “vacation” spot annoys you most? Why? Where would you rather be? (Give me the mountains any day!)