Monday, August 16, 2021

Tybee Island Adventure, Day 4

[Composed 8/2/2021]

This morning we found ourselves back at the beach. This time we were at a much calmer stretch of water because the plan was to learn how to Stand Up Paddle Board. As we waited for our lesson to begin, the kids naturally found themselves exploring the beach and splashing in the water. They quickly realized that the fewer waves meant there were more signs of life, including various types of crabs and baitfish. At one point, I noticed D gingerly walking through the water. I tried to encourage him: there's nothing to be scared of here; in this case you're the giant scary creature, not them. D corrected me, he wasn't worried that they were going to hurt him, he was worried he might hurt them. Ahh yes, D, my gentle giant.

Our private SUP lesson began well enough. The teacher had everyone don life jackets and gave us a water safety overview. Looking at the kids, I think her intentions were good: better to skip lots of instruction on the beach and get the kids in the water so they can do what kids do: figure stuff out. So with a minimum of instruction, we had everyone on boards and in the water.

Turns out, there was a bit of a snag with this plan. What appeared as calm water had a fairly significant current. Within a few minutes, the kids were floating down near the edge of the boundary that the teacher had set for us, and she'd neglected to teach them how to turn around. The kids, can therefore be forgiven for freaking out. We got everyone collected, walked back up the beach and tried again, this time after learning a few more fundamentals (like, say, how to turn) and were back in the water. Ultimately, the kids did get it figured out. Though, they ended up enjoying splashing around in their lifejackets more than the actual SUP'ing. While this wasn't quite the experience I had in mind when I suggested it, I'm still glad we gave it a try and the kids had a chance to step out of their comfort zones.

After the lesson we stayed at the beach and the kids were excited to continue to play in and around the water. At some point, C, J and I walked further down the beach to see if there was anything to explore. We didn't find anything, but on the way back, C announced that she just saw a shark. C, I explained, this isn't a video game--you can't just say things like that at a beach without raising an alarm. OK, she replied, maybe it wasn't a shark, maybe it was a dolphin. Dolphin?! Where?! She pointed out what she saw, and sure enough, it was a creature with a dorsal fin. It happened to have been a dolphin, but her cry of shark wasn't far off. I apologized to her and thanked for sharing her discovery.

For the record, my setup of our beach shelter was far improved over my first attempt. Maybe the wind on the beach wasn't as extreme, or maybe I cracked the code for setting it up (take whatever sand you think you need in the sandbags, and double it). Either way, I no longer felt like a Tenderfoot Scout setting up his tent for the first time.

Aftere the day at the beach, we made our way, cleaned up and watched a bit more of the Olympics. The kids have turned their rooms into an explosion of game cards and legos. I'm trying to think of this a bit of joyful chaos.

Tomorrow we head into Savannah for the day. I'm hoping I can slip in a bit of a history lesson without the kids or Shira even knowing it. Wish me luck!

No comments:

Post a Comment