Let’s Do This Again

By pen and inklings

My daughter, Joy, and I took my niece and nephew to the beach last night for dinner. They were so excited. It was 5:30, the sun was still up, it was warm and the parking lot was full. We crossed the busy bike path, down the boardwalk to the sand.

“I don’t like sand”, John said. John is eight. Sahar is thirteen.

We spread out our big square, striped towel. Set down the pizzas, the paperbag with salad, salsa and chips and the coldbox of drinks. Joy and I already had our shoes off. But John and Sahar decided to keep theirs on. We ate and talked while the seagulls began to gather around us, their eyes on our plates.

“I want to get out of here”, John said. “The sand is in my shoes”.

“Take your shoes off”, I said.

“Are you kidding me?”, He said.

“Okay leave them on”, I said.

Joy and Sahar went down to the water to find sandcrabs. Sahar had taken off her shoes but not her socks. I suggested John go with them to see the crabs. At first he said, “no way”. Then two minutes later, “oookkaayy, I’ll go”. He took off his shoes and ran down to the water.

The seagulls had now surrounded our towel, cautiously moving closer and closer. One snatched a pizza crust and ran away. Another drank coke from a cup. The boldest of the group grabbed the whole pizza box with his beak attempting to take it with him down the beach. “Go away”, I shouted chasing them. John stood there looking at me. “I told you we better get out of here”, He said.
“Let’s get our feet wet”, I said.

“My mom’s not going to like this”, He said.

“She won’t mind”, I said. “It will be fun”.

We stood at the edge of the forbidden sea. The water came up and touched John’s toes. He squealed and said, “that feels so rad”. He started to relax. Our rolled up jeans got wet.

Sahar said, “Let’s go in, let’s go under a wave”.

I had on my best jeans, a white linen top and I thought this seemed like such a childish thing to do. But something else within me said, “It will be fun”.

“Okay”, I said. “Let’s go!” I counted to three, we ran out toward a breaking wave and went head first into the cold, salty foam. John, still on the edge, was jumping up and down, caught between wanting to join us and wishing his clothes were still dry. Sahar wanted to go out further, she wanted to dive into every wave. I felt so refreshed and renewed. A seagull sat perched on top of all our belongings as though trying to get a better view of what was going on out there. On our way in Sahar splashed John with water. He told her to stop but started laughing. She put her arms around his waist and dunked him from head to toe. He didn’t want to leave.

Neither did I.


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