We live in the same coastal community where Fiddledaddy grew up. He loves the beach. But he married a city girl with some serious ties to the country. I suppose the beach would be okay for me. Were it not for the sand. And the sharks.
But I am blooming where I am planted. Even if it is in the sand. And my children dearly love the beach.
We have not been able to spend much time with our toes in the surf in the last few years because of my battle with Lyme Disease (hard to push a wheel chair over the dunes) and Jensen’s Atopic Dermatitis. Even though the salt water is very good for his skin, if he had open sores and entered the ocean, he would emit a scream that drew beach goers near and far because most certainly a shark was dining on this small boy. As that could be the only explanation for the sounds coming out of him. More than once Fiddledaddy had to wade out and pick Jensen up football style, cart him through the sand, over the boardwalk, and deposit him under the outdoor showers.
This year I’m up on my feet (well, at least one foot) and Jensen’s skin has improved so much he’s frolicking in the waves with nary a care in the world. Blessings, to be sure.
So I’m determined to take my children to the beach at least once a week. Fiddledaddy has outfitted me with some helpful tools to make my stay more pleasurable. Especially when he cannot accompany me.
He found the umbrella at Sam’s Club, and the beach chairs were courtesy of Target. My only issue with the chair is that they don’t have a cup holder. But I improvise. I also want to get an old king size sheet and make a hole in the center to use as a ground covering.
On Monday I took my children to the beach to celebrate one of Emme’s friend’s 13th birthday. Many dear friends were present and the kids had a fantastic time. Despite the rip current. For the record, two of the children within our group had to be rescued by our one token dad in attendance. The children were not mine, but the incident left me a nervous wreck.
I have determined that I am going to find and purchase neon colored rash guards for my children so that I can spot them more easily in the water, especially when the beach is on the crowded side.
As the day wore on we noticed some ominous clouds rolling in. There were also a number of low flying planes heading back inland. More than the usual number. Then we heard a warning message on the loud speaker up at the parking lot. It was completely impossible to understand what was being said, except that we were pretty sure that WARNING and EMERGENCY were among the words spoken. At this point there were only a few of us left in our group and we made haste packing up our children and belongings.
We finished showering the grit and sand off the children and were beginning to pack up the vans. As I was walking to my van with a load, I noticed a young lady fall to the pavement a few feet from me. I asked her if she was all right. She seemed a little out of it so I walked over to her to help her up. My friend Brianna also saw the situation and came to help. As the girl was walking a few steps she began stumbling and fell again, only this time Brianna caught her, keeping her from hitting her head on the pavement. It was fortunate for the young lady that Brianna was there, as if it had been me, I fear for the domino effect, and we would have all gone down.
At some point during this, another friend of ours was in her car, not seeing the problem, and was about to back up. She heard Brianna’s voice behind her and realized they were down behind her car, unable to be seen. I shudder to think what might have happened had she not heard her.
Brianna got the young girl off the parking lot and over to the sidewalk where she passed out for about 10 seconds. By this time I was on the phone with 911. When the girl came to, Brianna knew all the right medical questions to ask (she’s a trained OT). The girl said this had happened to her before, and she was probably dehydrated. We also learned that her boyfriend was with her, but was occupied at the Sno-Cone truck and had no idea what was happening.
Brianna got her placed in the passenger seat of her car and at this point her boyfriend came down the sidewalk, balancing two sno-cones. He truly looked bewildered to see these motherly-type women surrounding his car and he didn’t quite know what to do with the sno-cones in question. He finally set them on the roof of the car. At this point the EMT’s were pulling into the parking lot. The boyfriend tried to dismiss us, but we hovered until the story could be told to the medical personnel. The boyfriend did mention that “this happens all the time” and I was all THAT MIGHT BE A PROBLEM.
When we felt she was in good hands, we backed off and continued packing the children and the van. All children were wide eyed. Except for Jensen who came bounding over to me LOOK MOM! I FOUND TO GREEN ANOLES (code for yard lizards). God bless him. He’s handsome.
As it turned out, the young lady did not have to be transported to the hospital, and it looked like a classic case of dehydration. I had just never seen that up close and personal.
We never did find out what the emergency over the loud speaker was all about. The children were all speculating that bombers were on their way, or perhaps a tidal wave was imminent. I think it was a simple thunder storm alert. But the thought of bombers did hurry them up, so we went with that one.
All in all it was a good beach experience. Except for the rip current and the near drownings. And for the bombers. And the ambulance excitement. Still. I came home with the same number of children I left with. All sunburned.
If this is going to be a typical day at the beach, Fiddledaddy is going to have to outfit me with a mini-bar under the umbrella.