Day 6, 2014

We have owned a place at the beach for 12 years. We rent it a lot because getting away for a few days or a week at a time is tough.

Before yesterday, I had never driven to the beach for the day and taken advantage of free ocean-front parking, locker rooms with showers, a store/restaurant and two pools that are available to me even if my condo is not.

The “purpose” of this trip was to bring Mac home after he spent a few days there with friends of our family. So, I can’t really pretend that I was suddenly inspired to day-trip it.

But I am glad I did because I learned a few things along the way…

I learned that I am not organized enough to live out of my car, even for a few hours. My car looks like a frat house after Greek Week. There are random items of clothing everywhere. Cups that may or may not have spawned fungus in the heat. Styrofoam containers with half-eaten food. Wrappers. Baseball hats. Bucket hats. Shoes. Wet towels.

And beneath it all, somewhere, is the plastic bag that I waved around before we left and designated as the trash bag. I could blame it all on traveling with boys but they would sell me out in a heartbeat. I am not good at this. And, since I am being truthful, a lot of the empty cups are mine from refueling my body to drive 7 hours in one day.

I learned the under belly of 11yo “chat.” On the way home, Reed was playing “Quiz Up”—and burning through our data plan I am sure—on the iPad. A friend from the neighborhood opened up a chat dialogue with him.

Without a phone or iTouch, Reed is clearly a novice in this arena.

The next 20 minutes were a painful, blow by blow of everything this kid typed to him and the ensuing agonizing decision regarding the reply.

There was stimulating dialogue such as

“Hey R-Dizzle, what up?”

Apparently, Reed’s chat/street/hip-hop name is R-Dizzle. Which everyone noted would actually have just enough letters to serve as a personalized license plate in the future. Reed is forever obsessing about his personalized plate so at least we solved that mystery.

Each boy weighed in on the chat strand offering suggestions for Reed’s replies. Reed, in turn, would re-read the entire conversation, from start to finish, out loud each time he added a sentence.

There is nothing worse than listening to a G-rated, kid friendly version of gangsta’ speak.

“Oh and Emmet says hi and you da’ man. Word.”

I am also very afraid that Reed is never going to get a girl. He has no game whatsoever. Even with a customized, rockin’ license plate.

I learned that kids are hungrier when you have no option but to buy food. I thought I was prepared for this with a cooler, snack bag and donuts for breakfast. I was crushing this road trip. Until I wasn’t.

Almost all of the donut holes disappeared before we hit Rt. 50, a mere 25 minutes from home. The five that were left were sucked down the first 5 minutes on the beach. Sunny D, apple juice and water. Gone, gone and gone. Which brought up a whole other issue with bathroom stops. I will spare you the details of that gastric experience.

You’re welcome.

We bought lunch. They were still hungry. Then they wanted dessert. Then a snack. Repeat the process for dinner. If we had been at the condo with a fridge and cabinets full of food then they would have stayed on the beach all day and asked for nothing. Free food is boring.

And finally I learned that a day on the beach with a girlfriend is worth all of it. My friend, Karen, and her son joined us for the day. While the boys played volleyball in between meals, snacks, drinks and bathroom trips we got to sit on the beach and laugh. And chat. And relax.

Maybe knowing we only had a limited amount of time to take it all in, made us more focused on the beautiful weather and calm seas. Perhaps the feeling that time was ticking forced us to just live in the moment. Or it could be that a finite beginning and end made the middle all the sweeter.

My car was a mess, my kids were existing on expensive carry out and junk, my body creaked from so much time in the car but I don’t think I have had a better 12-hours in the 12 years I have lived at the beach.


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Magnificence in the Mundane

Finding humor in kids and chaos is the best place for your personal blog or business site.

Magnificence in the Mundane

Finding humor in kids and chaos is the best place for your personal blog or business site.

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