Thursday, August 12, 2010

A Picture is Worth a Thousand Words, BUT . . .

Sometimes you don't have your camera with you. Or sometimes the battery is dead or your memory card is full. Or sometimes you're just having too much fun to stop and get the camera. For the first part of this week, the latter was true for me.

Monday and Tuesday night, we went camping at Jalama Beach. Although this campground is a bit of a parking lot as far as campgrounds go (a lot of RVs, not a lot of flora, and the stereos can get loud), the kids had a blast. They boogie boarded, they biked, they made friends, they made sand castles, they ran on the beach, they flew kites, and they snake hunted. We adults had a blast too. Between the four of us, we walked on the beach, ran on the beach, kayaked, surfed*, flew kites, read, talked, ate Jalama burgers, ate home-cooked baby-back ribs, and drank about a liter of gin.

What struck me the most about the trip was how "old school" it seemed. The kids made friends with some "neighbor" kids at a campsite across the way, and, suddenly, they were acting so independently. They biked on their own. They played on their own. They would take off to go play or ride bikes and then we'd track them down at meal times. I'm not sure I have ever seen them have so much collective fun over a two-day period. And I'm not sure they've ever played so hard and been so exhausted.

And even though I didn't take enough pictures, one image sticks in my mind: It's my five-year-old daughter, riding her bike and whistling. Usually, she gets frustrated because she has training wheels and can't keep up with the bigger kids. But it's like she was having so much fun and was so happy that she didn't even mind if she was a little slower than the others. A couple of times, I was sitting at the picnic table, drinking my G & T, and there she'd go, past our campsite, just pedaling and whistling, biking at her leisure, and it was darling and fantastic.

The short trip was a perfect last "hoorah" for the summer. Today, I'm back at work, presenting workshops and finishing syllabi*. But I'm glad to have the image of my biking girl to carry with me throughout the day.

*I surfed for the first time in about four years, and it felt great.

**Between camping and cramming for work, I'm behind on my blog reading, but I'll be stopping by soon!


Academic, Hopeful said...

Biking and whistling = bliss

I will take that image for my day too! What a little sweetheart!

English Adjunct said...

Glad you guys had so much fun! Some of the best memories from my childhood are our family camping trips.

TKW said...

Oh my god, you can SURF? You are just too cool. GEW.

loveskidlit said...

Wonderful! Our last gasp was dragging around Silver Dollar City (Branson) in 150 degrees all day. But it was awesome too. Great memories, GEW!

C. Troubadour said...

Your daughter is coordinated. I can't walk and chew gum to save my life. Whistling while biking for me is like begging to run into a fire hydrant :)

Love that carefree image. Quintessential summer sweetness.

The Thirty-Something Bride said...

Damn. I couldn't whistle until I was 12. But I did for the first time on my bike, in Hawaii. I was riding home from school and gazing at Mt. Olomana. There must be something about biking that creates a whistle-friendly atmosphere.

@TKW - Yes, she can surf. And teach. And write. And play the guitar. And write songs. And make a really tasty cherry pie. She's kind of incredible.

Ink said...

Sounds so fabulous! How rejuvenating.

Good Enough Woman said...

AH, :)

EA, Camping really is great, despite all of the packing up and breaking down that is involved.

TKW, Not very well anymore. I used to do okay. Now, it's not pretty. But it was still fun!

LKL, Glad you had a last hoorah! (despite the heat)

CT, Maybe you could bike and whistle if you had training wheels.

TSB, Awww. Thanks for the props. Although I'm not sure I do all of those things anymore. As for the whistling, I think she can whistle better than me, and she's been able to do it for quite a while. She also snaps VERY well with both hands. She often walks around whistling and snapping.

Momma said...

I think I can picture that in my mind's eye. Thanks for sharing!