Kids at the Beach

Beach kidIf you ever want to experience joy, take a trip to the beach and watch the children. I don’t know if I can recommend watching your own children. You probably have a lot invested in their safety and watching them can be quite stressful. Other people’s kids, however, are an absolute hoot.

Most kids are impervious to the discomforts of the beach. Kids will fall in the sand, dig in the sand, throw sand, eat sand, and do just about any other unspeakable thing with sand. They get it in their fingers, toes, mouths, bathing suits, butts, and eyes. They rarely seem bothered at all. When was the last time you felt so liberated? Do kids start as hobos and our job is to civilize them? I wonder if we go too far.

I watched a girl, about four, playing in the sand. She was arched forward with both her hands and feet in the sand, and began kicking her legs up and down driving her toes straight down into the sand. She wasn’t kicking up anything, nor pushing the sand back to make a hole. She was simply driving her toes down through the dry top sand into the firmer wet sand.

The first thing I noticed was how physically demanding this was. I could probably get about four reps in before my arms or thighs exploded. Yet she did it for about five minutes straight. I don’t think the toughest Pilates or Tae Bo class would include this torture. Hmm…side thought…HALF TAE BO AND HALF PILATES…PUNCHES PILATES – WASH YOUR HANDS OF UNWANTED FAT…Sorry. The thing is, this kicking action accomplished nothing other than to burn off energy. She may want to save some of that energy for middle age.

The little girl’s brother, maybe five, was fascinated by the movement of sand. First he knelt in the sand and alternately and rapidly flung sand using a windmill motion. It was never toward anyone, but after a few tosses, you’ve pretty much seen it all. He just kept going and going. He also picked up a shell and used it to scoop up sand. He would walk around filling it and dumping it as though he needed to even out the beach.

I recall being much more structured as a child at the beach. I dug tunnels constantly either for cars or water, and sometimes both. I also recall burying balloons to see how they would fare and even beach beetles to see how long it took them to dig themselves out. Maybe I should save this for my therapist.

My favorite kid was about two years old. He was playing in/falling in/covered with sand. At one point, he saw the ocean. Since this small pond took up 50% of the viewable range, I don’t know how he missed it earlier. He made a beeline for the surf, as fast and straight as possible. I must look up the origin of beeline as my experience has them flitting rather than going purposefully straight. He looked like he would make it, but his father took one stride for every five of Junior’s. Dad caught him as he plowed face first into the edge of a wave. He had up till then shown that he was unaffected by water, salt, sand, and cold. We should use toddlers in war. Please explain what makes Batman a superhero.

As his father blocked his access to the ocean, the kid began a sequence of evasive maneuvers that were fascinating to watch. To me, this was more bee-like. It wasn’t a pattern, but didn’t look exactly random either. It reminded me of an early video game. He would bounce about, changing direction when he got close enough for his father to grab him. His father only needed a step or two to the right or left to block him. It also looked inefficient since the kid was using more energy, particularly with the bobbing up and down while he ran. The thing is that the kid’s energy seemed unending and he had a spirit of purpose that Dad lacked. It might only be a matter of time.

I’d like to think he’d have made it eventually. After all, the Atlantic Ocean takes up nearly a quarter of the planet. My wife and I left but as we drove home I tried to remember the last time I rolled down a hill, skipped a rock, or watched the clouds. I think it’s time for grandchildren.

© Copyright 2015 – Robert O’Connell. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this site’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Robert O’Connell with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

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Nude Beach Pics

100_4459 This essay might also be entitled, “How to Send an Email That No One Will Open”. A few years ago, I began to meet a friend semi-regularly at Haulover Beach in North Miami Beach, FL. Warren was a fellow professor at the time. We often had similar schedules as well as a shared love of the beach. Both my wife and Warren’s partner worked regular full-time jobs, so we took the opportunity to meet occasionally during the week for a beach day.

The biggest problem was that Warren lived in Miami and I lived in Coral Springs, just north of Ft. Lauderdale. We needed to find a beach somewhere in the middle. Haulover was a about an hour drive for each of us and Warren had been there often in the past. We both drove to past the Golden Glades interchange, a confluence of several major highways and met at a Dunkin Donuts, where one of us would leave our car and we would carpool for the remaining few miles. This would also save on parking.

100_4451 One thing that Warren failed to mention on our first meeting at Haulover, was that it is a nude beach. I do not mean a topless beach, but a fully nude beach. While nudity is not required, it did seem as though not ‘joining in’ would be considered bad form. I considered several factors. While, I wear a size fourteen shoe, I probably do not ‘measure up’ to the stereotype that might convey. I am well past the age of worrying about a lack of control with regard to the relative erectness of my junk, if you will. I guess the tipping point for me was that I had developed a waistline that rendered the view of myself exactly the same, were I wearing pants or not. I figured anything there was about me for people to look at was completely their problem.

The next several years at Haulover provided a wide variety of stories, sights, and experiences which I will describe in more detail in subsequent essays. Sometimes, we provided our own fun. I’m not sure where I got this ridiculous idea, but one day, I took a washrag, a camera, and three of my kid’s naked dolls to the beach. Taking a camera to a nude beach can be considered tasteless, so I was quite careful not to point it near any other patrons. Warren and I tended to go early in the day and sit on the less populous end of the beach, so we had no issues.

100_4453We took the dolls and posed them in several positions typical of beach-goers. Before your mind goes into a dark place, Haulover is a relatively non-sexual place. Barbie and Ken did nothing inappropriate. After taking the pictures, we sat the dolls out in front of us on the washrag as though it were a blanket. Many people walk back and forth along the beach, but it is also a place where few people make eye contact. It was quite hilarious watching people make sidelong glances at our miniature friends while passing by.

Upon my return home, I loaded the pictures on my computer and was pretty pleased with how they came out. Not being satisfied exposing myself (get it?) as a nutjob to naked strangers, I decided to email the pictures to several friends. I attached the pictures and tried to decide on an appropriate subject for the email. I decided on “Nude beach pics”. I sent the email and waited for the usual snarky responses.

100_4455None were forthcoming. After a few days I reached out to a few of the friends I had sent it to. I reached my friend Tyrone at work. He is my best audience and I expected to hear his roaring laughter from 1700 miles away about thirty seconds after I hit “Send”. He told me he didn’t open it. “I don’t want to see your naked ass at the beach”, he said.

“Trust me, Ty. You won’t be offended. I promise you won’t see any part of me.”

“Well, I can’t open it at work.”

“Dude, it’s a bit. Just open it.”

100_4449This was pretty much the story with everyone including friends, kids, in-laws. Apparently they were not offended with nudity per se, only the thought of my nudity. Tyrone eventually came around and laughed so hard at work that he had to slip into a faux coughing fit. It seems that laughter in his office is frowned upon. He later told me that it took him three weeks to get a friend to which he forwarded it to open it.

Ultimately, if you want to send an email that no one will open, I recommend this or at least a similar subject. Tyrone continues to open every email selling Viagra or from Nigerian princes, but treats mine as though he’s on the bomb squad.

Nude Mob

© Copyright 2015 – Robert O’Connell. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this site’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Robert O’Connell with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.