Return to the Beach

After pretty solid rain during the week of finals and the beginning of this break, I suppose I was under the assumption that it was going to rain the entire two weeks I would be out of school, then miraculously clear up on the 7th when I returned to Damien. That seemed like the likeliest scenario. The past couple of days have been pretty dry, though, and Madison and I took advantage of today’s sunshine to go to the beach.

This is how we play the waiting game.

This is how we play the waiting game.

Trying to figure out when to get to Ko’olina is always tricky. The severely limited parking means that one should try to get there as soon as possible. This would be the theory I’d subscribe to if not for Mad. Getting to the beach before 10 AM and things have warmed up is difficult with Mad because her tolerance for the cold is pretty low. I know, for example, that an hour and thirty minutes would be about the maximum amount of time Madison can spend at the beach unless it’s a blazing day – which it wasn’t.

We got to Lagoon 4 at 10:45 and there was a guy at the drive way shaking his head side-to-side. We doubled back to Lagoon 2 and I found myself third in line. Within ten minutes, I moved to first, but would remain there for a solid half-an-hour. I give Mad a lot of credit, she stuck it out. I think it was that we hadn’t been to the beach in so long, she was all in.

Rougher than we're used to.

Rougher than we’re used to.

Since we couldn’t see the beach from the car, what we didn’t know was that the water in the lagoon was rougher than usual. Generally, Madison likes Ko’olina because she doesn’t have to worry about the water crashing into the shore or her. Today, the water was coming in pretty quickly. Mad did her thing of running up to the water’s edge, then turning around and sprinting back while screaming. Always with the screaming. We spent the first few minutes playing in the sand. We tried to make castles, but were ill-equipped. Mad’s Tinkerbell Fairy Beach Set leaves a lot to be desired in the realm of sandcastle building. As you can see, the surf was more violent than a typical day, though Madison didn’t let that deter her from having a great time.

It's hard to say with any kind of certainty whether Mad drank more ocean water or Capri Sun today.

It’s hard to say with any kind of certainty whether Mad drank more ocean water or Capri Sun today.

Mad got into her tube and walked with me into the water. She screamed every time the waves crashed into her. I thought once we got past that shore break area, we’d be okay, but the current was pretty strong. It kept pulling us left of our stuff on the shore. Worse, it kept pulling Madison out towards the breakers. Since my swimming range is limited to 0 feet, I made sure Madison was always between me and the shore.

Later, I tried to have her ride the waves into the shore. She obliged a few times, but then she tried to turn in the middle of a ride and the only thing awaiting her was a face full of sea water. She swallowed some of it. I thought that might be the end of the day. Luckily, it wasn’t.

How long has it been since we've been to a beach? Madison couldn't write out her name on her own last time.

How long has it been since we’ve been to a beach? Madison couldn’t write out her name on her own last time.

We rotated between playing in the water and playing on the sand. I’ve been reading a bunch of essays on Edmund Spenser’s Sonnet 75 which is about poetry’s ability to immortalize its subject matter. It’s also about a guy trying to write his girl’s name in the sand, only to have the water wash it away. Of course that’s what I thought of when Madison took to writing her own name in the sand. Anyone who knows me at all knows that it was with extreme difficulty that I praised her for writing her name in this manner. Capital M and A, then lower case d and i, and then you can’t really tell her S/s, O/o, and N/n apart. I despise the whole alternating caps letters thing. I’m make an exception. For now. She made up for it by writing the M, then washing it away because it wasn’t up to her standards. I like that. I’m going to try to foster that sense of pride in one’s handwriting. It’s that kind of maniacal care of one’s penmanship leads me to throwing away an entire piece of paper if I wrote a single word in pen and that single word is ugly. Don’t get me wrong, I love trees. Some of my best friends are trees. I just care about my penmanship more.

It was supposed to be a mermaid's tale.

It was supposed to be a mermaid’s tail.

We had another first today at the beach. Madison let me bury her for the first time. In fact, she was the one who suggested it. “Bury me, dad!” she shouted, then promptly laid herself down on her tummy. “You have to flip over,” I said. “I want to do it like this!” she said. “How are you going to breathe?” I asked. She jerked her head back, looked straight down into the sand, then flipped over. Win.

Anyway, I tried my best to give her the mermaid tail as featured in A Little Mermaid, Splash!, and Barbie Mermaid 1-6, but as you can see, my sand sculpting skills are wanting. Looking at it in this two-dimensional form, it appears more similar to the azuki bean/vanilla ice cream/waffle batter dessert than a mermaid’s tail. I’ll get it better next time.

It was a pretty great day, even with the 40-minute wait for parking. The beach was nice, but it was mostly just Mad.

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