Monday, July 15, 2013

Not just a day at the beach

Saturday, our friend Sadie took us to a beautiful beach to spend the morning.  

We stopped at the Rainbow sandals store on the way (new sandals are a vacation tradition) and then trooped down to the beach with blankets and shovels and pails and snacks. 







The surf was a little rough, so the rocks were closed and we couldn't explore the tide pools.  We set up camp at Sadie's favorite spot, a natural rock arch, and played in the sand.  

It was idyllic.  The kids dug holes and buried eachother, intermittently squabbling and playing. We chatted, sometimes laughing at the kids, sometimes swooping in to stop a fistful of sand. It was perfectly imperfect, real life, but better. 

Suddenly, a wave came crashing up the beach out of nowhere.  We were well away from the shoreline and no waves had come close to us all morning.  As I saw it approaching, I bent to grab the blanket, thinking we were going to get our feet wet.  M was at arm's length and I took hold of his arm just to be on the safe side, but mostly I was glad we had hung our purses on a rock outcropping, so they were going to be fine.

Then all of a sudden it wasn't fine.  The wave was coming in both sides of the tunnel, and it was above my knees.  Thankfully I had a hold of M, because he was pulled straight towards the rock wall.  Sadie grabbed both her kids who were at her feet, but L was completely swept away under the water. Whim, thank God, rescued him in time.  He came away with one knee dashed on the rocks, but thankfully nothing worse.   

The most terrifying part was that Sadie had scooped up both Micah and Isla in one motion, and in her panic she didn't know if she had them both.  She kept screaming for Isla as the wave rushed around our thighs.  The whole thing lasted only a minute, but it felt like hours. I kept counting and recounting the kids as Sadie screamed Isla's name.  One, two, three, four. One, two, three, four.  M, L, Isla, Micah. They're all here.

Then the wave was gone, and everything was quiet.  We thought our hearts would never stop racing. I didn't care about a single one of our things, I just wanted to leave everything, walk straight to the car, and go home and never stop hugging and kissing my family.

But Whim, who was no less shaken, didn't want to leave without trying to gather up all our stuff.  Most of Sadie's sand toys and all the snacks were long gone, but Whim could see all our new shoes bobbing in the water.

He and a kindhearted snorkeler managed to get them all.


I was just so grateful it was sandals they were searching for and not something much, much graver.

10 comments:

  1. Oh my GOD! My heart is racing just reading this! That is so frightening. SO frightening. It's amazing how quickly things can change when you are talking about the water. I'm *so* glad all the kiddies were okay...and you even got all of the new Rainbows back. Still, scary, scary. This is a good reminder for me as we head to the beach at the end of this week! --Lisa

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    1. We are so thankful it didn't turn out another way.

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  2. Holy crap Robin!! That's so scary!! Why didn't you tell me about this horrifying experience?! I'm so glad all of you guys are okay.

    On a happier note, I love your tradition of buying sandals. I like buying sunglasses or hats when I am in a new place. But sandals are way more exciting!

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    1. I know! It was just so scary, but not the kind of thing you always bring up over burgers ;)

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  3. Oh My God! That sounds terrifying. I am so, so, so glad that you guys are okay.

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    1. We were lucky, that's for sure. Thank you!

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  4. Robin! I'm crying! How terrifying! Oh thank God this story has a happy ending, but I can only imagine the terror. :( Give Sadie a hug for me, then pretend that her hug to you is from me too.

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    1. It was a nightmare and our luckiest day all in one.

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  5. omigosh robin...thank God our kids were fine that day. i still get chills thinking about that moment when we weren't sure if the kids were all ok. thanks for writing this post girl. miss you guys here.

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    1. Wasn't that just terrible Sadie? So terrifying. I'm so glad it turned out ok.

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