Saturday, January 12, 2008

And When There Were Only Two Sets of Footprints, We Carried You

Jarrah is sick, poor lamb. Hot, red cheeks and sad little cough. But, as always, she's a mini-Mt. Vesuvius personified. So we decided to have a special outing to the beach today, where she could frolic in the fresh air, get a little wet, and hopefully have her head implanted with Vitamin D.

East-coasters, hate me not. I can't help that, in San Diego, a stroll on the beach in January is often MORE pleasant than in July, owing to the dearth of tourists. It's just sugary sand and glistening water as far as the eye can see. Maybe a few sand dollars. Even Jarrah commented, "I see only one peoples!"

We had everything all planned. Dry clothes and towels for Jarrah, sunscreen and a stop at Bayside Market for yummy picnic supplies. Oh, it was going to be heaven. Jarrah couldn't wait.

As we pulled up to our extremely convenient parking space at Coronado, I couldn't help noticing a film of chiffon cloud drop over the sun, then the buildings, the lifeguard towers, and roll toward the sand. Hmmm. Maybe we'd just dig those jackets out of the trunk. We stepped out of the car, and a spiteful little breeze swirled around us. Jarrah's smile vanished. "Want your jacket, boopsy?" For once she assented, even letting me put up her hood.

We began our brave descent to the water, trying to ignore the people who all seemed to be going the opposite direction. Down by the waves, there was a rather unsightly bulldozer ferrying loads of sodden seaweed to parts unknown. "Whas THAT?" said Jarrah.

"It's nothing," I said.

After selecting a dry spot on the sand, we unrolled our mat, and dug into our lunch. David and I were quite hungry, and the roast beef was very good. Jarrah bit into her PB & J and looked at her hand. She handed the sandwich to me.

"What's wrong?" I asked.

"There's peanut butta on my fingers."

"That's okay."

"There's sand on my fingers. I want wipe."

"We forgot the wipes. Try not to worry about it. Do you want a cookie?"

"Yah." She took a bite, then handed that back, too. "It's yucky."

"Aren't you hungry?" I saw she was eyeing the seagulls who were slowly starting to surround us. Somehow one had multiplied to four, then six. Almost imperceptibly, they moved closer. David waved a shoe at them.

"Wha' happened?" said Jarrah.

"Oh, the seagulls want our lunch."

"Our lunch! NOOOO!"

"Don't worry, they won't get it." I saw that she wasn't really listening to me, but watching a horde of sand flies milling over our things. I could feel a couple buzzing at the space between my t-shirt and pants, too. Lovely.

"Whas THAT?" said Jarrah.

"They're just sand flies."

"They can't have my ball! They can't have my lunch!"

"Don't worry," said David. "You're bigger than them."

"I don't like sand flies."

"It's okay."

"I'm cold! I wanna go home!" Suddenly, she burst into tears.

David and I looked at each other. This was unprecedented. We'd been at the beach 10 minutes.

"Take her down to the water," I suggested. "Go with Daddy and get your feet wet." The two of them rose, David took her hand, Jarrah moaning like she was being led to her execution. I watched them walk about 30 feet. There was more wailing, louder now. They turned around.

"No?" I said to David. He shook his head grimly. "Going home then?" He nodded.

We packed up our unused towels, dry sand toys, half-eaten lunch, and began the slow and piteously sound-tracked walk to the car. Mostly, Jarrah just cried quietly, but every minute or so, she'd announce "I don't like sand flies!"

In case we hadn't gotten the hint.

David clocked it: our whole escapade lasted 25 minutes, not counting the hour or so of driving, traffic and detours to get there and back.

Winter in southern California sure is sublime.

5 comments:

Anonymous said...

I just love the post, especially the title!

Missed you today.

I hope all is well soon.

OXOX,

Mary

Cheri said...

Now would be the time for you to check out The Big Honey Hunt by Stan and Jan Berenstain.

Anonymous said...

A girl after my own heart -- even if she doesn't really want her lunch, she really doesn't want ANYONE ELSE to eat it (especially those pesky sand flies!). :)

Hope she feels better soon. xxx lix

smittenknitten said...

Hope Jarrah is feeling better, we went to Coronado on Sunday too.

Anonymous said...

My poor schmoopy!! My three poor schmoopies!!

:(

xoxox,
Tee