Tuesday, July 16, 2013

What's That Crashing Sound I Hear?

 Zaya and Mim finally got their first glimpse of the beach on Sunday evening. They were very enthusiastic. They quickly discovered that the term salt-water is not given lightly, and that waves in an ocean are very different from "waves" on the lake. Daddy stayed close at hand while they found their sea-legs.

Soon they were running in and out of the water like old pros.

 Zaya spent hours just diving and floating, looking for fish and shells and whatever other bizarre underwater creatures he may have imagined to fill in the gaps.

There was much burying in the sand, of course, because you can't come to the beach and not have a parent bury you in the sand.

  There were even jellyfish, which didn't get anyone until day 3. I was afraid they would scare the kids away from the water, but they came back the next day with just as much excitement, so I think my tactic of telling them they could use it as an impressive beach story worked. (You can tell your friends you've been stung by jellyfish! Isn't that cool!)

At the end of every day, we loaded the kids up with beach gear and either walked the half-mile back to our cabin, or waited for the tram, if the time was right.

In some ways, riding the tram back and forth from our cabin to the beach was just as exciting, but I'm fine with that. As long as memories were created in one way or another, I figure we were successful.

Friday, July 12, 2013

Put Your Game Down and Look!

 On our first day of vacation we drove from our home in Missouri to Birmingham, AL. Yes, it was a long day. I'm not sure that it technically counts as vacation, but since we weren't at home, I suppose I'll say it does.

We took a break in Memphis in the afternoon to let our little prairie children see the mighty Mississippi. We payed for parking and went for a little tour of Mud Island Park, thinking it would be a little like a state park. It was green on the map, but we discovered that it represented the money they expected you to spend, not nature in any way. It was a little more like a long skinny state fair with no rides or livestock.

There was, however, a giant, in-ground representation of the Mississippi river, through which we all enjoyed walking, and scraping our toes. Seriously, those elevation changes are killer. Daddy, otherwise known as "the smart one" was wearing his tennis shoes, so he was safer if less cool.
There was a concert that was about to begin as we left the park to pile back into our mini-van. It was a soul-music concert, so the crowd was... very racially homogenous, which confused Mim a great deal. (I don't think Zaya even noticed.) We had some interesting discussions about various cultures in our country, and how everyone has their own style and their own interests and that's OK.
So it wasn't exactly floating down Old Man River on a hand-made raft, but we felt like we'd really experienced a little more of America already, and the trip had barely started.

Thursday, July 04, 2013

Whiz! Bang! Crackle-Crackle!

Another Independence Day come and gone, and the incomprehensible love of fireworks has not abated from the two males in the family. Art has always had a hint of pyromaniac in his soul, and although it has been tempered by his sense of responsibility as a father, it has not disappeared. Zaya is obsessive. There's really no other word for it.

When the fireworks stands open in June, he starts getting a glaze in his eyes and a little extra jitter in his step whenever he think about them. He begs to go looking inside those big, magical tents and trailers by the side of the road, and literally jumps up and down when his daddy is ready to take him.

It was like waiting for Christmas around here this week as we counted down to D-Day. (Not that D-Day, the other one.) There were just as many cries of "please, can we just light one ground bloom flower" (or black snake, or smoke bomb) as there were requests to unwrap "just a small present" in mid-December.

While Mim was willing to approach the launching pad for a few items, like the smoke bomb pictured above, she spent most of the time huddled with me on the trampoline. (Art had pulled it up near the back deck.) We had blankets over our head to protect ourselves from the possible fall-out, and looked like we were trying out for a particularly avant-garde interpretation of the Nativity scene.

When we first began our evening of entertainment, the fireflies looked as if they might be trying to give us a run for our money, but it wasn't long before they had all fallen prey to inferiority complexes or very brief, confusing love affairs, because they eventually stopped lighting the edges of the creek and backyard.

Now we have stopped, and the kids are showering and brushing teeth in preparation for what will probably be a restless hour of trying to get to sleep. The neighbors, who have teenagers, are still going strong, and will probably continue for some time to come. As long as we don't have anything land on our roof, we should be done with our own excitement for the evening. Here's hoping.

Before he went to bed tonight, Zaya came to give me a kiss and said, "Mom, thanks for not going with Dad and I to get fireworks so we could buy lots of good stuff." I do what I can.

Happy 4th, everyone!