This weekend was full of love and fun and excitement and laughter and beauty and frustration and anger and blood.
Saturday morning dawned windy as all hell, and we headed to the beach with our bouncy castle - we had been invited to a barbecue and I had 6 hours of "free time" with my kids. This seemed like a good way to spend them. Except that the surf was heavy and the wind was gusting and there weren't many children - which was a good thing because we had to keep dragging the bouncy castle away from the grill and I had to tell the kids they weren't actually allowed to play in the water because it was too dangerous. The entire time I spent at the beach was verging on total mayhem, death and destruction. After an hour of sitting by myself on the beach, whipping my head back and forth between making sure Max wasn't drowning, and making sure the empty bouncy castle wasn't blowing across the parking lot, I had to leave. I was so tense about someone A. burning B. drowning or C. disappearing entirely if I looked away for a second, that I was making myself sick from the stress of it.
Yes, I AM fun - you should totally invite me to all of your beach barbecues.
So I rolled up the bouncy castle and wrestled it back into it's storage bag, and I dragged the damn thing back to the car. When I got to the parking lot, I realized that the castle was too bulky to get between the cars, and it was heavy as fuck so I wasn't going to carry it all the way around. I decided to back into the handicapped space at the end of the aisle and load up there.
"Wait here." I told Lucy. "Don't move."
"I want to put my shells in my container." she was complaining.
"I'll get it when I move the car - your container is in your cupholder." I reassured her.
So I backed up and threw the car in park and opened the trunk and ran around to get the kids and the castle. Lucy walked up slowly.
"Baby, I promise, I will get your cup in JUST A MINUTE."
"Baby, please, let me just get this in the car." I was holding my hair out of my face with one hand while I tried to lift the fan into the back.
"Mama, one of the shells was sharp and I did this."
She held up her hand and blood ran down her palm.
What the fucking fuck.
So I scooped her up and wrapped a paper towel around her hand all in one swift motion. I plunked her in her booster and buckled. There were smears of blood on the seat and the door handle, the towel had a big red stain. Deep breathing time. Small cut, lots of blood. She's fine. But where the hell was MAX?
As I turned around to look for him, Max wandered up, completely covered in sand and soaking wet. I told him to grab a towel out of the front seat - where he had put them when we got to the beach. They were in a basket on the passenger seat. While I loaded the castle into the back of the car, Max went around and grabbed a towel, and then climbed in the car. I went to get in the drivers seat, and realized that it was soaking wet. And my purse had a wet, sandy footprint on it.
what the fucking fuck.
I opened the back door where Max was sitting, his towel next to him in a ball. Sand everywhere. The seat soaking wet. Water dripping off of his nose. His wet rash guard stuck to his chest. He looked startled. And then, nervous. He looked down at the enormous mess, then back up at me. "Oops."
(Here is where I have to divert from the story for a moment. History time. I am not OCD PER SE, but I have.....procedures. I have ways that we do things. We do things this way so that my skin doesn't crawl and my left eye doesn't twitch and my heart doesn't pound. Going to the beach with the kids is hard for me because of all of the variables. Weather, wind, water, sand, facilities, people, parking.........sometimes it is just too much for my admittedly very structured way of doing things. One of the biggest parts of the routine is that we get cleaned up before we get in the car. We take off our rashguards and shower and sit on towels and I try not to think about how sandy everyone's feet are, and hopefully we make it home without mommy bursting into tears. So. Now you know.)
I surveyed the ruin of my backseat. Between the sand and the blood and the salt water and the tears and the bloody papertowels and my fragile mental state, things were falling apart at the seams. More deep breathing.
"Why is my seat wet?"
"I got a towel. You told me to get a towel."
"Towels are not on my seat."
"I know, I reached over an-"
"No. NO. Why? Why didn't you just open the passenger side door and grab a towel. It would have been much easier than climbing through the car. And now the entire front seat and the entire backseat are wet and sandy. Why? Why???? We have nice things. Why can't you be gentle with my nice things? YOU RUIN EVERY NICE THING I OWN I HAVE NO MORE NICE THINGS." Breathe. Deeply.
My girlfriend popped her head in the window. "Hey guys. How ar-"
I left in a cloud of sand. We got to the house and everyone was stripped and sprayed down on the patio. And then we had "quiet rest time" which means they read books in their room while I lay in bed doing my Lamaze breathing, which quite frankly has proven much more useful after birth than it ever did during the birthing process.
23 minutes ago