After my lunch hours in the office I found the kids with the child care ladies up in our rooms. They were busy getting packed up to go to the waterfront.
“We want to play on the beach!” my eldest daughter proclaimed.
Sounded like a great way to spend the afternoon to me. I quickly changed into my bathing suit and packed a (semi) clean (semi) dry towel into my backpack and found my two ghost story books that I had purchased that morning and tucked them into the backpack too. The sunblock lathering began in earnest and took ten minutes. Then everyone was ordered to go to the rest room despite their cries of “but I don’t hafta go!” Ya, right! I never bought that one!
When we were finally ready to go the kids tore down the stairs, along the main road and onto the beach. I chased after them, panting. Amazingly we had the whole beach to ourselves! Seemed pretty unlikely considering the fact that over one hundred people were at this camp!
I pulled a half dozen shovels and buckets out of the beach hut and dropped them on the sand close to the water. I put my son in his tiny life jacket and let him loose. He played along nicely with the girls as they shoveled a hole in the sand. Then, I grabbed the two books out of my backpack. I shoved one into the pocket in my shorts. I stood in the shallow end of the water, supervising the kids as they ran back and forth into the water to fill their pails and then back up onto the sand to pour water into their hole. As they did so, I flipped through the first book pursuing the chapters as I tried to find a suitable story for the camp fire tomorrow night. After I managed to find a couple that I thought would work. I bookmarked them for later reading.
After about an hour of supervising the three kids as they created little lakes and streams and tiny dams made out of sticks and leaves, my son was exhausted. I managed to have him lie down on a towel in the shade and wrapped him up like a little burrito as he drifted off to sleep. At that point the girls decided they wanted to show me all of their swimming skills.
We stepped out a little deeper into the shallow end of the lake as they demonstrated their front crawl (which was recognizable), their breast stroke (also recognizable), and their side stroke (completely unrecognizable). Next they noisily demonstrated some water rescues using a couple of the kick boards. And finally I was treated to an exhibition of mouth to mouth resuscitation on the beach. It was pretty impressive to watch these six year olds performing this after having had only three instructions! It was so cool. My kids were getting good quality instructions and it was all for “free”…kinda….
Next up, the girls wanted to practice their dives into the deep end, so we stepped up onto the dock. I sat on the dock with my arms wrapped around my knees, turned, so that I could keep an eye on my sleeping son and also watch the girls as they dove in and then climbed back out. They practiced diving for quite some time but then also showed off their cannon ball skills, pencil dives and various other goofy jumps that they made up as they went. They were completely amused for thirty minutes as I sat and enjoyed the warm sunshine and the beautiful surroundings. This place was gorgeous!
As I sat watching the girls dive and climb out, I leaned over to have a look into the crystal clear waters. I could still see the sandy bottom of the lake from my perspective, as it was about ten feet deep on the far side of the dock. I noticed some good sized Blue Gill fish darting in and out from under the dock, but didn’t bother to mention it to the girls, as I knew that they would totally freak out! I also noticed something small, undulating along the bottom. It was bright and white and it caught my attention as it drifted out from under the dock. I took a closer look and then I recognized it. Unconsciously I made a face, scrunching up my nose. It was a gross scabby band-aid! Ewwww! I leaned over farther and noticed the Sponge Bob cartoons on it and I knew it was one of the band-aids I had brought from home! I was aghast! So much for the beautiful surroundings!