Everything I touch has a gritty feel. The kitchen chairs scrape across the floor with a whispered scratch. The countertop leaves salt and pepper looking essence on anything it comes in contact with. The kids ask for snacks and I have to dust the package off first. Once I thought I was safe and grabbed a handful of Pirate Booty for myself. I switched hands to close the bag and continued to eat my treat. When I was mostly finished I noticed it.
It’s everywhere. On clothes I finished folding after washing. On the floor despite all my efforts to sweep. The neighbor girl had to brush off her seat before I carpooled to school. There are handfuls in the van windows and sprinkled across the floor. It’s in food, on food, around food. Sand sand sand sand sand.
It’s such a tactile experience, it’s hard to resist. For small children it is also hard to resist sharing. Like the gospel, it makes them so happy they enjoy spreading it. This is why my backyard, garage, and laundry room floor are covered in fine grit most of the year. But after our trip to the beach on Memorial Day the sand has taken over our lives!
Anything with a surface is covered in sand and I imagine this must be what it was like to discover Pompeii after Vesuvius erupted.
Sand is a small price to pay for a day of fun. I am not annoyed by the sand. I prefer to think of it as a constant reminder of our day at Natural Bridges State Beach in Santa Cruz.
Don’t those pictures make you feel so jealous! I took a day trip with my family to the gorgeous paradise pictured above!
We staked our claim on a piece of beach between the crashing ocean waves and a pool of murky water
that I found out later the lifeguard leaves up to parental discretion to allow children to play in. The lifeguard does not recommend it but it’s a free country so he/she/it allows it. I found this out as we walked by the lifeguard tower on our way home. Heath felt I could not live the rest of my life not knowing such appalling information about the water we let our children play in with wild abandon!
We played in the sand while a couple of us took turns exploring the tide pools.
The tide pools were amazing. When I helped Gavin research for his report on sea anemones I read about tide pools. Now that I’ve seen them in person I have to say the descriptions were spot on. I just could not imagine that’s what the tide pools would be like! Sometimes things need to be experienced to be understood.
Like Patrick Starr sunbathing in the buff.
Heath and I saw crabs fighting. They were taunting each other by waggling their arms in a put up your dukes sort of way. Then they would get close to each other and pinch at each other and take swings.
We saw what looked like a fossilized leaf.
My mom picked up some shells. One had a worm or something in it. Gwen was fascinated by the shells. We left them there because the tide pools are protected as a state marine reserve.
Gavin started out building sand castles with the buckets we brought. He scraped a line in front of the castle and wanted to fill it with sand. The line was barely a surface scratch so the water soaked into the sand immediately.
Heath tried to explain the situation to Gavin. We speak to our children as if they are short adults. This works until the occasional moment when it’s obvious their minds haven’t had enough experience and they take our words literally.
Heath started to say something about how eventually the tide would come in and the water over there (he gestured toward the crashing waves) would come over here (he gestured to Gavin’s sand castle) and cover it up. Gavin ran to the ocean to fill his bucket and ran back to fill his “moat.” Heath just laughed saying, “That kid is so motivated he’s willing to move the ocean to fill a moat.”
Well, as Gavin was doing laps with bucket fulls of water, Heath saw a man a few feet up the beach from us with a large shovel. He was digging a hole and creating huge mounds of sand. He invited kids to help create. Heath told Gavin he could join in making a huge sand castle. Gavin spent most of his time playing with all the kids around the hole and mounds. I have never seen him so happy. Heath said the guy, probably a dad, encouraged kids to explore and create. There was no fighting, no destroying anything anyone else made, just a sense of community working toward a common goal.
Then I lost my first born. Of course I noticed he was missing right as Heath was coming down the rocks with my mom after seeing the tide pools. He snapped this picture of us then asked where Gavin was. We all look so concerned right? I held up my hands. I don’t know! We eventually found him walking toward our spot from a completely different direction. He said he couldn’t remember where we were! Two wrongs don’t make a right. Good thing we found him.
Ed and Candi built a really cool sand castle complete with a deep moat. Heath helped Ed dig a hole under the sand castle so the castle could be above a cave.
The kids were fascinated with the water in the moat.
It was getting late and Gwen was losing her mind because she was so hungry. Crunchy fruit snacks and Pirate Booty weren’t cutting it anymore. So we let the boys stomp on the castle.
It was such a perfect day at the beach. The weather was gorgeous. The temperature was in the upper 60’s to low 70’s. That’s typical for the beach. The sun was shining, a breeze was blowing. It was so nice. Heath sunburned his feet and legs so badly he had to work from home the next day. He is addicted to Aloe Vera gel now. Poor guy.
We had lunch at the Burger King on the corner of Mission and Younglove. But that’s a story for another day!