Just a little bit about my art and life in general....

Thursday, August 30, 2007

Changing landscape, sand castles, and teenagers

We packed up our things for the beach yesterday morning and my oldest daughter invited a friend. As usual it was difficult getting out the door. My youngest is always difficult when it comes to getting ready to go anywhere. Today it was "I hate the beach!" So after an hour of "threats and intimidation" and then "outright bribery" we were happily on our way. Our picnic basket was a bit pathetic - a few cold water bottles and sodas and two mostly finished bags of chips. But the important thing is we had a plan -- a plan to stop at a little store just before the beach to pick up salads and sandwiches. I often wish I was the kind of mom that was better organized. The kind of mom that would fill that picnic basket with sandwiches, homemade cookies, and folded napkins. BUT overall I think I do ok. The beach trip is 3 hours round trip so its not an easy trip for me.

The day was absolutely perfect -- not a cloud in the sky! And temperature-wise I can't remember a more comfortable day at the beach. Without an umbrella were were quite happy. The tide was just finishing its climb up the beach and I was reminded of my promise to my youngest (as part of the bribery) to build sand castles with her. We had a lot of fun trying to build our castles while the waves washed them back to sea. Finally we moved high enough to enjoy a few waves but still allow us to build our elaborate drip castle. It was quite pretty and she was thrilled with it. We left our pail and shovels in the castle's "lake" and went off (about 10ft away) to collect shells amongst the waves to add to our castle. After several trips back and forth from the ocean to the castle we returned to the castle to find two adorable children stomping and bulldozing (with a toy truck) our castle down. I told them that it was our castle and we were working on it but they just smiled at me and continued their stomping. I looked up at their mother which sat only about 5 ft away but she seemed oblivious. My daughter's eyes were filled with tears and her little lower lip was quivering as she held back her tears. I walked her back down to the waves and hugged her. I suggested we take a walk along the beach so we gathered up her sisters and friend and went off for a walk.

She talked about the castle incident for a long time as we walked -- not able to understand why they would do something like that. I tried to explain to her that these things happen -- some kids are like a force of nature. But I couldn't help thinking there was something lacking in the parenting skills of their mother. Finally we reached a point of land where the waves were converging from two directions and created some rather large and exciting waves. The older girls were in the water body surfing and experiencing the fun and painful realities of "sand" burn and what waves do with bikini bathing suits. But they had so much fun and laughed the whole time! My youngest too was enjoying the waves as they crashed along the sand and finally forgot about the castle.

We returned to our chair and blanket and I stopped by to speak with the mother of the two children. I just wanted her to know how upset my daughter was but even though she did apologize she laughed at me and told me to lighten up. All she had seen was a pile of sand. I indicated that we had left our beach toys there while we were collecting shells for the castle. She said there were toys everywhere on the beach. I told her that I always taught my children to respect other peoples belongings and not to destroy sand castles. And I asked her what were were supposed to do -- put up a sign saying "Off collecting shells to decorate the castle!" Overall it was a humiliating experience standing there as she laughed at me. I guess I should have realized that any mom sitting that close to us as we built our castle and then allowed her kids to destroy it wouldn't really care how we felt afterwards. Sigh.

Later we built another castle and my daughter cheered up considerably.

The tide had turned and we took another walk along the beach to explore the sand bars.

We have come to Crane's Beach for many years now and love it. I was so amazed today to see such a change in the sandscape. We always remembered a sand "island" out in the water but everything was completely changed. Instead we followed a rather long sand peninsula out into the ocean. At the point were exciting waves that were crowded by many children and adults.

The other exciting adventure was the teenage boy that was eying my daughter and her friend. They were really enjoying the attention as they played in the water and built sand castles. It was so cute as he walked back and forth on the beach and watched them swim. Of course all this attention made these two teenage girls much too giggly and silly!

We stayed on the beach until after 5 when most of the crowds had left and made our way back to the car all covered in sand. Overall it was a wonderful day at the beach even with the castle destroyers.