For the latter part of day 2, after we had taken Baba to the market, the boys wanted to play in the pounding surf. They wanted to stand with their feet in the sand while great, huge waves crashed into them.
How do you not age in dog years when you’re a parent? Seriously. I ask you.
With kids, we age like dogs. 7 years get etched onto your face, your skin, your soul for every 1 year that actually passes.
A part of it is that kids will always push their boundaries. I know I did as a kid. I ate horrible things on a dare. I tried to squeeze into a cemented-up bunker and got stuck. I tried to build a raft that would sail across Georgia Straight to Seattle (ok, my geography was a bit off when I was 8) and I once thought it was a good idea to shoot arrows at moving targets in our backyard.
I also played in the ocean a lot.
Did that cause my parents as much anxiety as it did me as I stood in the sand, holding on to the Youngest’s hand while the big waves boomed around us?
I wish my parents were alive to ask them.
But, for the record, in case The Oldest and The Youngest never get around to asking me, yes, yes it’s freaking terrifying.
But the idea that one of them could get dragged out to sea, well, it’s the stuff of nightmares.
Yet, that’s exactly what we did.
We marched out into sand behind the receding waves where I would literally make a line in the sand, and say, we can’t go beyond that.
Of course, The Youngest instantly took a step beyond it.
It’s who he is. And we stood, the three of us, as the Pacific Ocean did its best to drown us. Wave after freezing wave.
I tried. I did. I wanted to be all cool and not let my fear of them drowning kill what was a good time for them. But I failed. I reached out and grabbed The Youngest’s hand, cold and shivering, while his brother stood beside him, his lips blue. The water was so cold that I had lost all feeling in my toes, my legs and my testicles. The latter had so little feeling that they could have been used as pinatas and I wouldn’t have cared at all.
Then another wave rushed in. We braced ourselves. I held The Youngest’s hand as hard as I could. It was like ice and so small. I could taste the salt on my lips and I could hear The Youngest’s teeth chattering
But would he go inside?
No, he had to survive one more wave.
Just one more.
So we stood our ground as a wave crashed through our legs and clawed its way up the beach. The sand shifted under our feet as the ocean retreated and, looking down, it made me dizzy to feel the sand move beneath me and the ground rush by me. It felt like falling.
But I held on to the Youngest so he wouldn’t be dragged out to sea.
Or he held on to me. At some point, I’m really not sure I was doing any good at all.
At some point, though, the cold was simply too much. Even for me and I have the body fat ratio of an overweight hippo.
We all retired to the house, hopped in the hot tub, and began to warm up, though I feel that I may never be warm again. Ever.
Of all of us, though, the Prettiest-girl-in-the-world has to get the medal for bravery. She stood by and let her boys live on the edge for a bit. As terrifying as it was for me, at least I held on to The Youngest. She could only watch and hope that our superior dexterity and surefootedness would keep us from going on a visit to Japan.
But I’m sure the whole experience aged her just a bit.