Beach Bums and Babes

This summer is turning out to be everything I did not expect it to be. I thought we were going to have a quiet 12 weeks. Actually, I was worried that we were going to have a quiet 12 weeks. My older daughter is doing film camp towards the end of the month; we are going to Pennsylvania next Monday for a week – a break I am really looking forward to. No phones, no schedules and no televisions – although i am not too sure if my kids are going to fall for this part of the vacation. But I am willing to buy them off with a visit to the Crayola factory and maybe a trip to the zoo!

But back to what has been happening since we went on our break. I signed the girls up for swimming lessons at the pond. It is the most cost effective value for money swimming lessons I have ever come across. The instructors are all super with the kids of all ages, and both my girls look forward to learning the tricks of being bouyant in the water. My youngest has her lesson at 10am and my eldest has her lesson at 11am. We arrive at 10am and set up camp for the morning. Put out mom’s beach chair, lay out the towels, and put on swimming goggles. My younger angel runs to the instructor and then plunges into the water showing no signs of the fear that gripped her earlier in the season. When her lesson is over, my elder daughter and I take her back to her daycare (which is currently like camp). We leave our chair and towels there so that when we return for the next swimming lesson, we still have our little spot in the shade.

There is one big tree that provides shade all morning until about 1:30pm. A spot in the shade is at a premium by 11am so if you can get there when we do and secure your spot, you are set. Because swimming lessons run for three weeks, the same moms and dads arrive every day at the same times to bring their young ones to learn to swim. Like me, many use the lessons as “time at the beach” which lets the young ones enjoy being in the water under the supervision of a well qualified instructor (you see, I am no big swimmer and it has to be REALLY hot for me to actually get in!). Everyday we greet each other politely when we arrive when the gates open for lessons (the swimming public are only allowed in a half hour later) – each of us knowing where our regular spot is and where everyone else sits.

And what from the road running by looks like moms and dads sitting on the beach watching their children swim, has practically taken on a life of its own.

There is “Don’t touch the baby” Mom who herds around her children (especially the youngest daughter) so that other children can’t touch them. I actually overheard her tell her son not to play with the sandcastles another child built – complete with bridges – because “…you don’t know who built them and where they have been!”

“I need public recognition” Mom is there too. Everything she says to her kids is extra loud so that we can hear everything. “Yes, darling, of course you can have your organic, fair trade, local farmer’s market strawberries, while I eat my organically grown whole wheat pasta salad with sprouts,” she enunciates while frowning heavily at “I don’t need sun protection” singed mom who is scoffing nibbling on her M&M ice cream while her son downs a soda in almost one swoop.

There is “silence is golden” dad who has not said one word to his little boy that has not come out as a whisper. Mind you, he is rather good looking and well built so we don’t need him to talk. I saw “Don’t touch the baby” Mom give him the once over when he planted his towel and bag in the middle of us. Brave man! Another dad arrives – I think of him as “ultimate sunblock 500” – I think he uses about one can of sprayable sunblock a day. With the layers he puts on himself (and I assume his children too), they must be protected to the hilt. I sunblock my children too with nothing less than 75, but layered to the point of your skin actually turning blue, is taking it a little too far. I make sure that if I arrive before him I am not sitting downwind…that spraying sunblock can sure travel…

Me? I sit on my beach chair reading “The Last Lecture” drinking my water quietly while I watch my children frolic. I occasionally arise and go stand in the water, chat to one of the other moms I do know and when my eldest daughter is done, just before we leave for the day, we go and buy some slush. I am sure though that in the other parents’ minds I too must be an oddball. “She speaks funny and sits all day” Mom – that’s me!

An tomorrow this beach bee-itch will be back, in my usual spot, looking for the usual suspects…

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~ by ski holidays on July 16, 2008.

4 Responses to “Beach Bums and Babes”

  1. Hey. Who is that “good looking guy?!” I wasn’t there. Step away from the beach and put your eyes where I can see them.

  2. @ AA – okay so he had to suffice in your absence but I will let you in on a little secret, he is just like all men – read Beach Bums and Babes Part Deux when it is up to see what I mean (but I think you might just already know). 🙂

  3. OMG what amazing entertainment, what I think is the best is the fact that you picked it up and made a sad tale funny! This is totally excellentos … lekker soos ‘n krekker I tell you!!!

  4. @ SanityFound – I have another installment coming up about the beach. Thanks for visiting again…enjoying your verbal tennis…

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