Took my girls to Sherwood Beach today in Waimanalo. It was quite deserted. The wind howled, squalls whipped in from the sea, and beautifully bubbly marine blue man-o-war were everywhere. The sun peeked through the clouds. I had to get some sand running in, my new favorite way to keep in touch with my inner whimpy runner.
We parked The Forever Van under the ironwoods and before I could shut the back hatch, Kid2 was up to her waist in waves, bobbing up and down, goggles holding down her curls and protecting her eyes from the salty sea spray. Kid1 followed with a boogie board that launched into the air like a kite while she tried to hold onto it in with the leash.
I loaded down the chair with our beach bag of towels and slid my arms into the cords of my mini backpack — a giveaway from one of my races. Inside were our three iPhones, two wallets, my reading glasses and a bandana. We don’t leave our valuables laying around. When I run I honestly don’t even feel the bag or its contents bouncing around on my back. The wind is so intense I do what I can to keep my visor on my head. I watch the sand for the spots of blue, I look around at the people, I watch the waves and take my turns running in the water, on the mud, or on the soft, dry sand.
Twice my legs got entwined in man-o-war tentacles. By the time I finished my second of three laps, the girls had decided there were too many man-o-war, it was too windy, and here comes the rain. Argh. Who are these sissies? My parents had to pry me off the beach when I was little. Heck, I could stay there all day, everyday, if I had my way!
This perplexes me. How are these girls my children? If it’s raining at the beach, you get wet, right? But you’re swimming in the ocean! It’s so cool to be in the ocean when it’s raining! The fresh water trickles down your face and it is a weird sensation to taste fresh water when you’re floating in the ocean. They were wearing long-sleeve jerseys to protect them from the sun and stings. Neither had been stung, but they still wanted to get out. I was really disappointed. I was ready to sit in my chair and enjoy being at the beach, just as I have done for as long as I can remember. When I got hot again, I’d run back into the water. It’s the way it’s done. Swim, drip dry, repeat.
It’s fall break for my girls who now have demanding social lives and obligations beyond hanging out with Mom. I’m OK with that. I will admit going to the beach alone is a lot easier than going with an entourage. But someday they’ll be gone for good and I’ll have plenty of solitary beach days. I know I’ll miss having their whiny sandy butts bickering in the back of The Forever Van, sweeping between their toes with the mini whisk brooms, burping their demanding iPhones, while I sit in the chauffer’s seat, with the wind blowing full throttle in the windows, taking whatever conversations they have out and far away.
I’ll collect shells and take pictures and send them emails signed:
The Forever Mom.
i must be a sissy too. i grew up getting stung by jellys every summer on the Chesapeake Bay. that was bad enough, but my first Man O’ War encounter was at Galveston TX, and that was a toe nick on a beached and sun dried tentacle. after about three mins. it felt like my foot had been smashed with a sledge hammer.