Today I am recharging my batteries with a day off work at the beach. My bare feet touch the sand and I inhale deeply. It is the perfect kind of warm today, hot enough to claim summer and cool enough to bake all day in the sun. I walk forward until my feet just stop. This is always how I find my spot.
I am not looking for interesting people to observe or hoping to overhear anything at all. Today I visit the sea to flush two weeks of anxiety away. My Dad came home from the cardiac unit on Monday and is finally healing. I allow myself cautious joy.
I drop my stuff and set about arranging everything just so. My favorite "Havana's Bananas" towel is a welcome site, indeed. I sit cross-legged on it under the brilliant sky and breathe. Looking at the vast ocean always shrinks my troubles. "Amen", I say, without prayer.
I lay back, close my eyes and begin absorbing vitamin D. I love the sounds and smells of the beach and I leave my iPod ear buds off for now. I hear gulls, waves, radio stations and chip bags ripping open. Laughing, coughing, scolding, more laughing. And then, shrill and breathless:
"Mommy! Mommy! Daddy pooped in the water!"
A young boy bounds up the sand dunes to his mother, dripping wet and panting. He is five or six, brown haired and fair skinned. His tummy pudges just a bit. He holds it with both hands and catches his breath:
"Haha-ha! Mom! I saw the poopy! It floated."
His mother sits straight up and removes her sunglasses. "What?" she says. Three teen girls giggle in front of me. The woman looks at them, me and back to her son, who laughs louder:
Son: Dad pooped in the ocean! Haha!
Mom: Shhh! Stop fibbing.
Son: I'm not!
Dad jogs up and his son howls with laughter. His wife says something to him. The man shakes his head back and forth. The boy continues laughing. His father grabs his head and chin from behind, temporarily silencing the outburst. "No!" I hear, out of context from the man. As he further turns away from me, I see the back waistband of his swim trunks are doubled over on one side.