Wouldn’t go near the water, but he still got a better tan than I did

If you’d like to know how our trip to the beach was, let me just give you a little scenario to sum up the experience.

The last morning we were there I was standing on the back screened in porch of our house that was about oh, 15 feet from the water, while a perfect V of pelicans flew by. Immediately after this, four or five dolphins frolicked in the ocean about 40 yards out from the porch (that was 15 feet from the water), and as I watched the dolphins, two hummingbirds zoomed in to view and hovered just in front of the place where I stood. In my place on the porch. 15 FEET FROM THE WATER.

And then a unicorn galloped down the beach.

Ok, kidding about the unicorn, but I’m really kind of surprised that didn’t actually happen. I mean, live dolphins and hummingbirds were being projected onto my retinas simultaneously. It’s the kind of thing that makes you look around and say, “Wait a sec, did I die? Is this heaven?” So just to be sure, I stepped outside the screen to check, and 342 mosquitoes immediately descended upon me and I knew I was still on earth.

But holy cow! Dolphins! 40 yards + 15 feet away! With hummingbirds! Yeesh.

The house we stayed in used to be behind a dune, with a walkway that led from the back door to the beach, but over the years erosion has taken its toll and now the water comes up under the porch at high tide, making the house more like a house boat, only without the rocking. This is the last year anyone will stay there – the houses on either side have already been condemned, and they say that it will only be a year before the ocean starts to take the structures down.

A subject by the way, that should not be discussed in front of a three year old.

This is what Bug heard: The house is going to be washed out in the ocean sometime next year.

This is what Bug thought: Next year = next week or maybe even right now. Who knows, dude? I’m only THREE. There’s no WAY I’m sleeping in this house tonight. I’m getting the HELL out of here. Meltdown mode: ACTIVATE.

It took a while to convince him that we were not going to be sleeping with the fishes.

In addition to being swept away in the night to certain death, Bug had another fear: WATER. He would not come within 20 feet of the ocean. Or sand that had been recently dampened by the ocean. Or sand that looked like it might be a shade darker than the dry sand and therefore must have been in contact with the ocean at some point in the recent past. This was not up for negotiation. I thought I could convince him that the water was OK by sheer will if I sat out in the ocean myself for a long time and made it look really really fun. But he was too far away to hear me say anything, let alone see the “this is really fun!” expression on my face, so all I got for my effort was a pound of sand in my bathing suit crotch.

I’m sure he’ll grow out of his fear some day, although it may take going to the beach more than twice in his whole life to help accomplish that goal.

But GO TO THE BEACH A LOT is a parenting task I’m willing to tackle.

Only I won’t get to tackle it here:beach house
Farewell, beach house.


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