Nothing like passing on your fears (more tales from the beach )

The warmth of the sun,
The ocean’s rhythmic wooshing…
My soul is happy.

I love the ocean. See the picture below from our hotel room for this Florida vacation.


I can hear the ocean rise and fall from our balcony. If you sit at the table in the kitchenette and look outside, you can only see the water, no sand –it is like you are on a cruise. (Cruise = heaven on earth for me)

I have rented two loungers and an umbrella for the week. They are about 30 feet from the water. Glorious view over the top of my book, past my sandy toes, toward the pretty blue hues.

Here’s the problem. I am perfectly happy to stay 30 feet from the water. I don’t mind walking around in the foamy bits, wading out a foot or so and letting my feet get sucked into the sand. That’s fun too. But I’m really totally fine going no further into the water.

Call me a victim of the 70’s and the movie Jaws. I know the chances of me getting eaten by a shark are more remote than my chances of winning the lottery (I didn’t look that up, I’m just hoping this is true; if you tell me otherwise, I’ll delete your comment). But I don’t care. I can’t see through it and there are no boundaries… that’s enough for me to stay at the edge.

My far-braver husband has no such worries. He takes both kids out 40 feet from shore (it is still quite shallow) and paddles around. All the time I’m completely panicked, watching from my umbrella shaded oasis. I motion them back closer to shore out of simple fear, always scanning the water for tell-tale bad omens. I am such a wimp.

Nevertheless I felt a little bad yesterday when my daughter got spooked. While way out with Frank, she saw a jelly fish. It wasn’t so close as to sting her, but enough to make her swim a hasty retreat back to the shore, where she remained for the rest of our beach time. Why did I feel bad? Because I was so happy. Happy that she was close in and happy to let my irrational fears take a nap for a while since she was not out to sea.  Let’s be clear – I don’t  scare my kids with death-tales-of-the-deep; but my actions (staying close to shore; asking them to not swim out so far) likely speak for themselves.

Today she once again didn’t want to venture out far… my happiness was tainted with a little regret that her innocent naiveté about the ocean has been burst, but not so much that I encouraged her to go out. Instead, I set up the sand toys and the pop up tent right next to me, a safe 30 feet away from the sharks, jelly fish and vicious rip tides.

Mother of the year – clearly lost it again.

I am soooo white (tales from the beach)

Take one part white girl;
Add equal parts sun, surf, sand.
Remove when crispy.
I am melanin challenged. So is my husband. When we hooked up and then decided to breed, we clearly violated Darwin’s survival of the fittest as we did not choose a mate that would amplify our good bits and relegate our bad bits to recessive-status. We seemed to have picked each other specifically for our recessive-trait similarities.

One specific example, our said lack of color.

And now we have two children to whom we have passed on our extreme white-ness. Poor things. It takes us 20 minutes of slathering before they can get to the beach. Given they are small and medium, their patience is less than stellar, and the wait about kills them (and nearly drives me to murderous acts too).

So it was no surprise that after one part of a day in the sun on our beach vacation, our first day in fact, I get sunburned. You see, not only am I cadaver white, I have short arms (the visual image I’m painting of myself only gets better…). This lack of arm length, coupled with what can only be sunscreen –induced spasms, means I missed getting sunscreen to some of the most bizarre, random places.  I did have assistance on my back, but between my back and my front (the shoulders to some of us) I now have these misshapen, oddly located lobster-red parts. It is the damnedest thing.

Know what the best news is? I am not alone. I am not vacationing at a ritzy place… this beach is crawling with normal people. That means there are men with hairy chests, shoulders and backs, over weight women wearing bikinis, some obnoxious kids and loads of super-Caucasian people sporting sunburns just like me  – such a breath of fresh air relative to the media overdose of beautiful people with beautifully colored bodies. So I don’t mind showing that I’m more like everyone else (minus the bikini , thank you very much …). Please join me; just bring your sunglasses – the glare is out of this world.

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