Friday, August 14, 2009

Gidget moments '09

The end is near. Sadly, the beach days of 2009 are dwindling. The days of sunshine and heat, that is. The beach is available year round, of course, but somehow being there with the crowds and sun and the noise and the trash and the endless search for parking . . . wait . . . uh, yeah . . . sometimes THAT part of the beach experience is NOT fun.

The trash. Ugh, it pains me to see when groups of people or kids leave loads of trash. Last time we were there, a day camp visited from L.A. A ton of kids went, and about 5 counselors were there to watch them. I caught on to their carelessness inexperience after a 4 year old came walking from down the coastline, amongst all the people, ALL BY HIMSELF. At the beach. Soaking wet, too, so yeah, he was in the water! I watched as he found his way back to their "camp" sat on his towel and no one cared. They didn't even know he was gone. From that moment on, Frank and I took turns watching out for "Orange Shorts" as we so lovingly named him.

Yet another idiotic strange thing I saw that day: A woman was there with the tiniest of umbrella and smallest of bag for snacks, with her baby. Her very WHITE and FAIR baby, so fair the baby's hair was even white. Guess what she did? She stripped the baby of all her protective clothing and let her sit on the towel, in the sun in only a diaper. That's it! Oh yeah, she put on sunblock, but HELLO? Sunblock does NOT protect a baby's sensitive skin, c'mon, you really don't believe that ONE layer of lotion is going to protect a baby THAT white? She MUST not know that damage to a childs' skin before the age of 7 is the MOST damaging exposure they will get in their life. It is the WORST set up for skin cancer in later life. I was just about to go explain this to her when another mom noticed the same thing. She went to her and said, "Would you like to share our shade?" BRAVO! That was good! Why didn't I think of that? Here I was thinking about all the damage that poor little girl would encounter in later years, that maybe the mom didn't know, that she would suffer cancer as she got older, and on and on. When all I had to do was offer them our umbrella!!! Wow, the things we learn from eavesdropping watching other people!

THEN the camp kids started packing up. And leaving trash. I just couldn't stop myself, I picked up their trash, too, and I wasn't too happy about it, let me tell you! I got tired of Frito bags getting blown into my face! I know I'm supposed to be all Gidgety and nice and sweet and stuff, but wait, Gidget was feisty! SOOO . . . I was about to go over and help the poor counselors assign trash duty and get the kids lined up . . . they were failing miserably. (The teacher in me was all ready to organize the departure.) But I didn't, because my kids were there. They are total Gidget moment killers. They get "embarrassed" whenever I talk to people I "don't even know." Imagine. And all I'm trying to do is educate people and make our world a little bit better!

Things to remember for your last Hoorah at the beach, '09:
Sunblock, sunglasses, umbrella, ice chest filled with water and good snacks, towels, flip flops (yes, people do try to walk all the way to the water from the parking lot without SHOES!).
For older children (pre-teen and up) BEFORE they leave your area, make them aware of their surroundings. Have them point to and identify the number of the nearest lifeguard tower, tell you the color of your umbrella, identify "neighbors" and so on. Set the limit for how deep the water can be on their bodies, waist is safest. My youngest is already 12 and these rules still apply (unless of course Dad is out there boogie boarding with him).

Last, relax, have fun, enjoy (as if!!!!).

Oh, almost forgot, I found another book for The Take A Chance Challenge! At the beach, I saw a woman reading Dead Until Dark by Charlaine Harris (challenge #6:Public Spying. Find someone who is reading a book in public. Find out what book they are reading and then read the same book. Write about it). Yes! The first in the Southern Vampire Mystery series, I haven't read it yet so I can read it AND cross off another challenge! Yay for me! :)



christyzee said...

very nice blog! Just stopping by from Sits to say HELLO!! you commented right before me :o)
have a super weekend,

Sassy Chica said...

Summer is short lived in Chicago! By the time we adapt to the heat, it is gone and we must once agian adapt to cooler temperatures and fall colors (my favortie).

It is bitter sweet to say goodbye to summer, so I am whooping it up like it was 1999 and shaking what my mamma gave me..holla!!!

Sassy Chica

Unknown Mami said...

How brilliant is the person that offered the shade? That never would have occurred to me but it's the perfect way to deal with the situation and avoid conflict.

Jenners said...

First, I'm excited for the book you found by public spying!! I'm going to try this series too as everyone seems like such a big fan.

Second, I can so relate to your feelings. It is hard to watch stuff like this and sit idly by -- especially when a child is in potential danger. Thank goodness for "Orange Shorts" that he had a guardian angel that day. And I probably would have reacted like you did and not like the other mom -- I tend to go for bombast and scolding rather than a less aggressive approach. And as for littering ... UGH. It isn't so hard to clean up. Here's to more enlightened beach goers in the future.

Enjoy your remaining beach days!