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“They’re at 17th street?”
“But he said today we’re at 20th street.”
My wife, children, mother, and I gathered our beach chairs and other paraphernalia and trudged back over the sand and to the car.
Fifteen minutes later.
“Where are they? Do you see them?”
I dropped the stuff, set up camp, and plopped into my beach chair.
“Hey isn’t that B (my cousin) waving?”
Thirty minutes, two parking space searches, three walks across the hot shell infested sand, fourteen sighs, a gallon of sweat sweated off, and we finally found the rest of the family.
As we setup camp, my mother came over to me and made a declaration.
“I just want to let you know this is my last day at the beach.”
“Huh. I know it was a pain getting here and everything…”
“You don’t understand. I don’t like the beach. I hate the sand. I like a pool. I only come to be sociable. I like hanging out with everyone. I’ve been coming to the beach for 70 plus years, and I’ve had enough.”
This was not said in anger or frustration or sadness. It was simply a declaration made by a woman who reached her breaking point.
“Okay. If that’s the way you feel.”
I think she was expecting an argument or a plea. Others did attempt to talk her out of it. But why? You get to a certain age or station in life and you can do whatever the heck you want. So if that’s what she wants, fine. I hope she changes her mind, but I’m not counting on it.
I embraced the decision. And came up with suggestions on how to mark the occasion.
- Get a bullhorn from the lifeguard and lead everyone in the “nah, nah, nah, hey, hey goodbye” chant.
- Bury her in the sand so that only her face is visible.
- Take her out deep and let her ride a wave in.Sing for she’s a jolly good fellow and enjoy a beach themed cake.
- Present her with a golden bucket in lieu of a gold watch.
In the end, none of these things happened. Instead we simply had a nice long day at the beach. A family day – you know the kind: talked, laughed, enjoyed the waves, dug in the sand, played paddle ball, took some pictures, and snacked. For her finale, my mom went into the ocean and got wet up to her knees (this is a big deal).
While I do hope, my mom changes her mind, I am not going to try and change it for her. Instead, I say thanks for doing something for me and your other children, and grandchildren even though you did not enjoy it. Thanks for taking us and then joining us at the beach. It won’t be the same without you.
L. to R. SJ, Mom, BR
L.to R. Brother, Mother, Me, SJ
It is awesome that your mom went to the beach even though she didn’t like it – and even better that she’s decided to let you guys know that she’s over it! I’m with her, I’ll take a pool any day of the week, but don’t mind the lake trips! The last time we were at the lake it was duck feeding time – we always bring a bag of bread crumbs and crackers and such and Sandi was feeding them from the boat – now, when you are in the boat you can see the catfish swimming (you can’t see them when you are actually in the water) and she let us know that the catfish were getting in the action and going after the food… and that was when I realized how much food was floating around me… and about that time a catfish broke the surface to snag a cracker and I screamed and all but fell over backward off my float in an effort to get my feet out of the water! 🙂
It really is nice of her to have gone even though she did not like it. That’s part of being a parent right – doing for the child.
I enjoy the pool, but I love the beach. There’s no other place I find as relaxing. Of course, with the two boys, it’s not so relaxing but that’s another story.
We have the opposite problem over here–I can’t get my mom to stop taking us to the beach! And then she swims longer than the children! Craziness.
I hope Grandma finds other ways to enjoy the family.
Good for your mother!
I think she will find plenty of ways to enjoy the family. She’s good like that.
I’m with your mom! I’m not nearly old enough to declare I’m done and make it stick, but I hate all the hassle of going to the beach too. We went twice this summer, and after the second time, I said to my husband, “We’re good for this year now, right?” I had to cut a small hole in my daughter’s suit in order to get the pound of sand out of it. Sigh.
I agree it can be a hassle, and I don’t care for the sand. However, I love the beach and the ocean.
I can understand perfectly. I’m the sister that they couldn’t get off of the beach. Now, it doesn’t interest or excite me, one bit. Florrie, Dear, while our kids are on the beach and in the ocean, we can just sit and talk. After all, we never run out of things to talk about! I’m PROUD of you!!
You are lucky to have each other.
Having gone to the beach all my life, I can’t blame your mom. If you really don’t like the beach then all the crap it takes to get there, set up and get to a point where you finally relax just makes it worse. Good for your mom for making a stand 🙂
I have to agree with your mom. I’m not a big fan of the beach either. I commend her on 2 things – 1. she has endured something she didn’t enjoy for the sake and love of her family and 2. she has declared her independence and freed herself.
I’m glad you and your family had a good day together on this auspicious occasion.