Childhood. Don’t go swimming without getting somebody’s mom to watch you. The Commander, Radical Betty, Bubs, The White Tornado, Barb, sometimes a McPiedmont mom. I used to ask The Comm something like, “How come it’s okay for you to watch us? You can’t even swim.” And that was true and I’m not sure why. Her answer was something like, “I could get help!” I suppose that might be true but the correct answer would have been that she could walk out into the water and pull a struggling child right up. It’s shallow near the shore and there are more or less two sandbars before it gets over your head (and no riptides, thank you
Round Guano Island). You can tell a small child, “Don’t go beyond the second sandbar” and they are pretty darn safe. But still, you cannot be too careful around any amount of water.
When I had my own beach urchins, I spent a *lot* of time life-guarding. For one thing, I remembered that we *never* had to ask twice to get somebody to lifeguard while we swam, even if it required wearing a winter jacket. There was a “rule” for a long time about not swimming until an hour after you ate (you would get a cramp, as the old wives’ tale went) but I kind of think that little rule was made to give the adults a well-deserved break, something like the 3-o’clock snack rule we used to have at the moomincabin when my beach urchins were small. But also, one of my fav-o-rite activities on earth is slugging around on the beach.
So I spent a lot of time lifeguarding for my beach urchins and any cuzzints that were around, to the point where sometimes it became difficult to get a bathroom break. I loved slugging around on the beach so much I think sometimes people kind of forgot that I might need a break. Nowadays I could just text somebody, “Hey, I gotta peeeeeeee”.
I am struggling with the head count in this photooo. These kids are my 1st cuzzints twice removed. That means they are my cousin’s grandchildren, the Beautiful Jan of Jeep and Pan. There are seven in the photo but I’m only remembering that six were up here that night (out of nine, I think). So who am I missing? But yaknow what? It wasn’t my responsibility to count the heads this time. Their mothers and grandmother were there and all of those women are perfectly competent lifeguards.
Note that this photooo is from a few nights ago. This evening, we are experiencing loverly thunderstorms. If you are friends with me on facebook, I have posted a short video there.