The Tuesday before my son went back to school I took him and one of his friends to the beach. After slathering them with sunblock I released them to play. As I watched them racing toward the waves I made sure I was safe from the sun's rays, and then popped a few grapes into my mouth. I pulled up my Christopher Moore novel on my Kindle, and read for a little while. Every now and then I looked up to make sure I could still see the boys. Tuesdays are rarely busy beach days, so they were easy to spot. They were involved in some elaborate game that involved crawling and occasionally rolling across the sand. Eventually I would be too hot to read, and I would join them in the water. I was sure I would hear all about it then.
The thing about the sun, and the sound of crashing waves, and reading, is that it will put a tired mom to sleep in no time. I woke up with my mouth wide open, and checked myself for drool. Had I snored? Had people walked by me and laughed? Where were the kids?! I scanned the beach and easily located them. I checked the time. Whew! Not so bad. It had only been ten minutes. Nobody drowned. I wasn't burned. Everything was okay.
I walked into the water, and let the waves wash over me. I leaned backwards, and thought of my Uncle David teaching me to float on my back when I was a little girl. I gazed at the sky, and listened to the sounds of happy boys playing. It was such a perfect day - the kind you hope you'll always remember.
On my way out of the water I made my way to the boys to let them know we'd be leaving in about ten minutes. My son hopped up and excitedly asked me if I wanted to see what they'd been drawing in the sand. Of course I did! He was so proud as he took me to the first masterpiece. I let out something between a scream and a laugh. It was a giant penis! He looked at me like he didn't understand what I was upset about. I quickly used my feet as giant penis erasers. I was furiously scrubbing its existence off of the sand, when I recalled how the boys had been crawling all over the beach. I asked my son if they'd drawn any more. Of course they had. He hopped over to the next giant penis. I looked in his direction, and I saw a line of giant penises pointing out to the horizon. I quickly ran to the next, and the next, and the next. Some of them were "shooting power pellets at Pac-Man!" I was mortified, but I was laughing hysterically. What kind of mother was I?!
Now, I don't worry that I'll ever lose my memories of that glorious day. Its perfection is seared permanently in my mind, and it looks like giant sand penises.