I couldn’t help myself.
I rolled down Devin’s window. (He was in the front passenger seat.) I leaned past him and yelled over at the girl: “Hey! You really need to stop driving like an asshole! You’re going to get your self or somebody else killed, driving the way you do. And hang up your damn phone! What’re you? All of 17? Concentrate on the road, Miss Inexperience!” I’m sure she said something back, but the light had changed and I didn’t quite catch it.
Devin? Oh, he was mortified – sitting in a car, next to a cute teenage girl, with his crazy-ass mother yelling past him at said cute teenage girl. You’ve never seen such a big kid try to make himself so small. “What’s wrong with you, mom?! She isn’t going to listen to you and you can’t just yell at people like that!“ Oh, but I can. If she isn’t going to listen, it doesn’t matter if I yell because it makes me feel better.
Yesterday: We’re on our way to the beach. Devin is in the front passenger seat and we’re at a stoplight. There is a big, raised, white truck next to us. The teenage driver’s arm is out of his open window, a cigarette dangling from his fingers. I’m watching it, knowing the guy is going to flick it into the street. Yep. Flick. Ugh!!! Still gun shy from the last time mom was unhappy with another driver, Devin sees what’s about to happen and implores me: “Oh mom, let it go!!! Don’t do it!” and holds down the button for his window, preventing me from rolling it down.
At that point, I decide to mess with my son a little bit. I pretend that I’m going to catch up to the truck, etc. I run a steady stream of monologue: Look at that! He isn’t wearing his seatbelt either! Punk teenager! I’m going to tell him not to litter! Half the state has burned down this year! What’s that kid thinking throwing lit cigarettes out the window! Oh my gosh! He is already lighting up another one! Wow, smoke much?! Devin is getting more and more agitated.
(Note: in the back seat, Grant begins saying “blah, blah, blah…” Conner asks why he’s saying that… “Because Mom is talkin’ too much!”)
As we pull into the beach parking lot, the truck is behind me. (This is getting good!) Looking fearfully behind us, Devin begs the driver “No! No! Drive away! Get out of here!” From the back seat, Conner says, “No, he’s making a U-turn and going the other way. Whew!”
Oh, but the boys are just messing with me, for as I pay my parking fee to the state park guy, I look in the rearview and see a white truck behind me. I tell the attendant, “Hey, the guy in the white truck behind me threw cigarettes out of his truck the whole way down PCH. You may want to let him know that the state of California doesn’t appreciate litter-bugs and that he shouldn’t throw trash on your beach.”
Feeling smug, I pull forward. (After all, I got to make my point to that guy and I got to mess with Devin!)
I look once again in my rearview mirror and see that it is, indeed, a white truck. However, it is not raised and does not have a teenage punk driving it. Oops! “Nevermind!” I yell and hurry down the access road, hoping to disappear before they catch my license plate. Devin’s comment? “Ugh, mom, you’re so lame!”
So as we lug boogie boards, beach towels and snacks to the sand, I notice the waves look pretty good. Pretty big for Bolsa Chica, actually. I spot Raquel and her kids and my Aunt Mary Kay and her grandkids and plop down next to them. The kids are all off and running. All is fine, we just have to occasionally wrangle them as the tide is coming in at an angle and with each ride in to shore, they move a bit down the beach. The littler guys are fine, but we notice the 4 oldest boys (15 and 16 year olds) have gotten pretty far out in the surf. They don’t have their boards with them and are trying to body surf.
We 3 moms are getting a bit nervous as we see how far out the guys have gotten (now on the other side of the swells coming in) and we begin waving for them to come back into shore. They don’t come back. Hhmm. They either a) can’t see us; b) are deliberately disobeying; or, c) they’re in trouble. The lifeguard strips off his shirt, jumps from his tower and races out to the surf. I guess it is option c.
As he makes his way out to the boys, a truck with a flashing light pulls up and 2 more lifeguards run from their towers and into the surf. One of them is a girl.
So the guys get rescued, and they explain that they were “just fine” and don’t see what all the fuss was about. Some of the surfers nearby had been saying, “Duuuudes… you’re in a rip-tide. Better swim parallel to shore.” That’s probably what alerted the lifeguards, so thank you to the Jeff Spicolis of Bolsa Chica. A lecture from Mom, (complete with shark story reminders) (again, a story for another time…) and instructions that boogie boards are mandatory for the rest of the day.
In the meantime, Grant has been having a ball playing at the water’s edge with the two Conners.
He comes to me for a snack and a juice box, and when he finishes, he runs back down towards the water. About halfway down, he stops running and lets out a screech. We all thought he was hurt. Hurt bad! Like stepped on glass or stepped on a jelly-fish hurt. He comes running back to us, crying so hard there is almost no sound coming out. We look him over quickly, checking for blood, swelling, etc. “What’s wrong, buddy!?” No words. Just crying, shaking and pointing.
Pointing…. oh, I see. A severed head at the beach would make me cry too.
Reluctantly, Grant allowed himself to be taken over to get a closer look at The Severed Head, (aka Cousin Sammy). It took him a few moments to calm down and marvel at the idea that anyone would willingly be buried up to their neck in sand.
Many people have a scary experience with water that makes them afraid of the beach. Only a special few have a traumatic experience with sand.