Monday, June 03, 2024

Edisto Island, Day 3: So Long, Sunglasses!

Going to the beach with—essentially—six grown people (Grandpa, Darla, Andrew, Rachel, Miriam, and me), two medium people (Zoë and Ben), and two small people (Alexander and Phoebe) is considerably easier than going to the beach with three small people and two grown people. Or even three grown people, one medium person, and three-and-a-half small people

Most mornings it seemed like Darla was out the door with the early-bird children and in the water by the time the rest of us stumbled onto the beach. 

It was sure nice to have extra hands on deck so that I could get ready and get Phoebe ready and so forth. Here are Grandpa and Darla in the water with Alexander, Zoë, and Benjamin:

On this particular (Monday) morning, Rachel and Miriam had a spectacular sleep-in while the rest of us went to the beach and Daddy (ever the champion) went grocery shopping.

Here are Zoë and Benjamin doing...something...

We found a crab scuttling about, which is fairly unusual during the day. At night these ghost crabs zoom up and down the beach, but during the day they hole up—quite literally—in their burrows. But this one-handed crab was still out in the morning. The kids (and some other kids on the beach) and Darla worked to catch him and managed the task after a few minutes. Darla was sure he would dig under the sand while he was trapped under the bucket, but he didn't. Maybe because he was missing his arm? He seemed to be on his last leg, so to speak...a little slow...incapable of hiding...just a little sad.

Benjamin enjoyed getting to observe him up close, but Phoebe was immediately obsessed with him. 

She loved the "twab" (crab) and wanted to make him a "pib" (crib), so after the kids let him go (oh, look—Rachel and Miriam finally decided to join us!)...

...Phoebe went out with a different bucket and caught the crab again. We really didn't think she'd manage it, but she did! And that is not the only crab she caught on this trip.

Here she is petting it and singing it a song:

Here's a little crib she ended up building for it:

Andrew followed her around while she followed that poor crab around. 

The water here was just lovely, so we spent a lot of time jumping waves. The boogie boarding was hit and miss. The waves were...short...they just curled right up and immediately slammed potential riders into the it was very difficult to catch a wave that you could really ride into shore.

We just ended up with a lot of incidents like this...

In this case it's true that Zoë was caught by the wave while paddling out (rather than while she was trying to ride it in), but...yup...

...she was just gobbled up by that wave.

But she went back out there and tried some more until she got it right.

Here's Benjamin body surfing in...

And here's Zoë catching a wave behind his shoulder:

And Alexander joining her with a little body surfing:

These three kids—Benjamin, Zoë, and Alexander—all ended up covered in rashes from the boogie boards and sand. In spite of that they kept heading out there to try every single day!

This picture is just because there was a pelican flying above the kids. There were so many pelicans at the beach—they'd fly back and forth above us in a single-file line. Sometimes they were so close that we could hear their splashes as they hit the water...and then the gulping as they swallowed whatever they caught. They are surprisingly large!

Let's are a few more pictures of the kids boogie boarding, which I'm sure they'd be interested in seeing...

Okay, that was just Alexander getting smashed by a wave...

Here are the pictures of the kids boogie boarding:

While recovering from a particularly spectacular wipeout, Benjamin surfaced...with a five-dollar bill plastered to his face! He was rather pleased with this find!

Phoebe was also a brave little boogie boarder! She insisted on going out several times and persisted on getting back on the board until she finally caught a good wave. She had her fair share of wipe outs though...

Here she is having successfully caught a wave:

Andrew and I also rode with her doubling on our boards. I'll have to see if I can find any pictures of those rides from later in the week. She really gained a lot of confidence in the water this trip! She figured out how to steer herself in her puddle jumper so can head in whatever direction she happened to choose (frequently her choice was to spin in tight circles...otherwise she was trying to paddle her way to Morocco and got upset with me whenever I stopped her). She would beg for me to let go of her so she could ride the waves by herself and would laugh if a wave crashed upon her instead of letting her bob up over it. 

But I'm getting ahead of myself because at the beginning of the week she was still rather timid and wanted close supervision in the water...close like clinging-to-my-neck close. 

She was still loving the waves and seemed enamored with the unpredictability of the ocean—the way it sometimes laps at your ankles, or washes the sand out from under your feet, or simply plows into you and knocks you right over. It's delightful and scary and beautiful and curious. 

But this beach was so shelly—a wonderful place to hunt for washed-up treasure (like $5 bills...or shark's teeth (Miriam found two!)) but not so lovely to walk on. 

"Come in deeper!" everyone called to me. "Past the shells and onto the sand! It's so much better on your feet!"

The waves were fairly gentle so I allowed myself to be coaxed in deeper, up to my waist...with my baby in my arms (no floatie), my sunglasses on my face and hat on my head.

And everything was fine.

But the ocean can be unpredictable. 

So I should not have been surprised when I ginormous wave sneaked up and crashed right on top of us, but I was! I was thrown off my feet and plunged into the water. All I could think about was keeping a grip on Phoebe...and getting us back up into air space. My glasses were ripped off my face and I saw them spinning around in the churning water, but...I am pretty sure I made the right choice in grabbing the baby instead? (My hat miraculously stayed on my head, more or less, getting stuck on my bun).

Rachel (jokingly) questioned my judgement because Phoebe has only been in my life for 2.5 years while my sunglasses have been in my life for 15 years. Where is my sense of loyalty!?

I was actually pretty sad about losing my glasses because I got them in Egypt, they were prescription (and my prescription hasn't really changed in the last several years, which is a good thing), they were still perfectly functional, and I rather need them for the swim season (especially with swim club). Not to mention that I was now blind on the beach for the rest of the week (so thank goodness for all those "extra" hands (and I eyes) I was talking about earlier)!

Andrew called America's Best for me and made an appointment for the next day. It felt absurd to take a day of our vacation to drive into the city to visit the optometrist...but my prescription had expired so I had to visit the optometrist in order to get a new prescription in order to order a new pair of sunglasses and I didn't want to wait until we got home to do that because then I would be out of glasses for that much longer, ya know?

Anyway, that's the story of how I lost my glasses of 15 years.

I tend to get rather attached to items and losing things (or pieces of things) really stresses me out. It feels like a moral failing on my part somehow, even though I know that it's a normal thing that people do all the time. But I just...can' lose things. Puzzle pieces, game pieces, library books can all send me into a tizzy. I know people lose things all the time, but I don't. Because I can't stand it when I do...? 

Apparently people lose sunglasses a lot, too. 

Not me. 

But some people. 

I keep the same pair of sunglasses for fifteen years. I cart them halfway around the world. I pack them up to move a handful of times. I take them to beach trip after beach trip. They somehow survive all of my babies. Because I don't lose sunglasses. I am simply not a sunglasses loser...until now. 

Now I'm a sunglasses loser. 

My brother made me feel a bit better by sending a picture of his broken sunglasses (that lasted him six months). But he can do that. He can also just talk about root canals like they're a normal thing that people do, while I get sad when my dentist tells me there are some "troubling areas" of my mouth that they want to watch (not cavities yet but something to keep an eye on). Because that's a moral failing for me, too. Like, it's fine for my brother to have teeth issues. When he tells me about his root canal I think, "Poor thing. Glad you got that taken care of." But when I have teeth issues my internal monologue is like, "How could you let this happen?!"

So I'm sure that's healthy. 

Anyway...I've grieved the sunglasses and have moved on with my life.


Rachel dug an impressively deep and very round hole, which Phoebe claimed as her "baff" (bath).

But then she spotted these girls out walking a couple of Great Danes, so she had to climb out of her hole to greet these hulking beasts that she somehow immediately recognized as "puppies" (without even confusing them for "horsies" or anything like do babies do that?? because Great Danes look wildly different from, like, the little Maltese up the street). Phoebe climbed out of her hole to ask if she could pet those puppies.

I was always afraid of dogs when I was little (and by "little" I mean...I was also afraid of dogs yesterday in addition to "when I was little") so this kind of behaviour is mind-boggling to me. Phoebe sees a dog and assumes it's her very best friend (whereas I'm always fairly certain I'm the next thing on its menu).

She loved petting these Danes because there was just so much of them to pet.

For my children's reference, Titus (Darla's dog) is about 85 lbs and he seems like a pretty big dog to my kids (and is perhaps the biggest dog they know personally). 

But this Great Dane weighs 185 lbs! So it's a veritable giant!

Phoebe didn't want to let the puppy get on its way, but the puppy's owner was clearly feeling it was about time to end the interaction, so I said, "Okay, Phoebe—say goodbye to the puppy and go back to your hole!"

Rachel thought that loudly commanding my child to "go back to [her] hole" was perhaps not my best (public) parenting moment. But, like, you know what? She went back to her hole and loved it!

I switched the camera around to take some selfies of me and Rachel and Andrew:

And then I bent over to take a few couple more pictures of Phoebe and surprised myself when the camera was still facing me instead. So this is what I look like when I take pictures of Phoebe, apparently.

Here are a few other pictures of Phoebe:

Our beach house was just behind that blue beach house you can see behind Phoebe.

This beach house is the nicest place we've stayed at with Grandpa so far. Last year the beach house was...fine...except that one of the bathrooms was collapsing...and the condo the year before that was great but quite a long walk to the promised beachfront. This place had everything—plenty of beds, plenty of living space, bathroom floors, and a quick little jaunt to the beach. The table was perhaps a bit small for a place that sleeps fourteen, but we just squished around the six-seater table (inside or out) for our meals and games.

On this particular evening we played Mexican Train before heading back to the beach for an evening stroll. Benjamin was excited to see that his sandcastle (turned monument to the ghost crab that he found dead further down the beach (and we're pretty sure it's the same one from earlier in the day because it only had one claw/arm)).


And...just because I had to grab the "crab crib" picture from Andrew and this picture (from Saturday, I think) was nearby in his camera roll, here's a cute picture of Phoebe, Alexander, Zoë, and Benjamin enjoying the waves:

1 comment:

  1. I rarely lose things either, and the only time I recall losing a pair of sunglasses was from a bigger-than-expected wave at the beach! Ha! Mine weren't prescription though so bummer about your loss.