By the seashore

Late breaking Father's Day decision to head out to the beach! We were packed up and in the car at 4pm, toes in the sand by 4:30. We've got the whole drill down pat now.

Alice, as usual, pretty much just stayed on the chair or blanket.

Everett found shells to hear the ocean, but he must have gotten confused somewhere along the way, because every time he put it up to his ear, he proceeded to yell as loud as he can.

  

And of course Alice copied it exactly. 

Sometimes these two hug for so long I have to take a peek to make sure that someone's not actually suffocating. It was so cute, every time I caught a glimpse of their faces, they were both smiling – sometimes even with their eyes closed – actually enjoying the hug (and not trying to smother the other one). It was so sweet, they kind of hug-spinned for a good minute, kind of stagger-twirling in the sand. 

And then Everett found a treasure! He said it was from a pirate ship, which we were able to confirm upon close inspection.

  

I suggested we bring it home, but Everett felt it needed to be returned to the sea.

He ran, full force and full speed into the water and hurled it as far as he could.

But the waves kept spitting it back out at our feet! So we took it as a sign that we were meant to keep it, and we took it home, after all.

We also found a "beach tree" and ended up bringing it home, as well. 



Leaving the beach was a mix of odd, unsettling, and magical all at once. At a certain point, while we were playing in the sand, the lifeguards began blowing their whistles repeatedly, and eventually steadily, loud and aggressive. They made quite a fuss, so everyone was looking up and around and paying attention. There weren't many people in the water, and those who were, weren't more than waist deep. About 10 or 15 minutes later, it seemed everyone on the beach all at once noticed the same thing – a huge cluster of dark storm clouds coming in. It was time to get home anyway, but it was as if everyone was thinking the same thing at the same time, and in unison, everyone started hurriedly packing up. Then, out of nowhere, a helicopter swooped in – loud and very low. So low, in fact, it was a bit frightening. It positioned itself just off the shore of where we were standing, right in front of us and hovered there for a couple minutes before swooping inward above the beach, right over our heads. The kids were half scared, half intrigued, and I know every adult there was wondering the same somber thing. Was someone missing out there? If so, it was somebody who had spent the afternoon not more than 20' away from us. I kept thinking about all the people I remembered seeing. We picked up our pace as fire trucks pulled into the area and a couple more helicopters joined. By now we were walking as fast as we could up the beach toward the parking lot. On our way to the car, large, heavy drops of rain started falling, and as we turned the corner to the parking lot we saw – not just a rainbow, but a double rainbow, clear as day. You could see the delineation of every single color and you could see all the way from one end to the other. You could see the end of both sides of the rainbow. We were standing right in the center of it, right inside the arc. I've seen rainbows before, but never anything like that. It was quite a site. On the drive home we talked about how we always have to respect the ocean, and that sometimes big waves are how the ocean and the sea tell us they don't feel like playing, and we should go away. The next morning we cut out paper shapes and made ornaments to hang on our beach tree, and the kids have been drawing rainbows ever since. I keep checking the news, and thankfully, there have been no reports of any drownings at any beach that weekend.