Back to real life.

My time away was fabulous. Charlotte is one of my favorite cities. I napped, I read books interruptedly, I watched movies in bed, I shopped, I got stuck in an hour-long traffic jam IN A PARKING GARAGE (but that was the only bad part). We returned, hugged the kids, unpacked, did laundry, repacked, and then were off to Atlantic Beach with twelve high school girls (who fascinated Mallory, of course). We swam, we splashed in the ocean, we ate lots of Cheetos, we played in the sand, we rode up and down the "galigator," we ate fried shrimp, we soaked in the hot tub. But I could just shut up and show you pictures.

This was the first afternoon, when we went for a walk on the beach and the girls swore they would just get their feet wet. Naturally they ended up getting soaked, then I got soaked when I had to fish Phoebe out of the drink when a big wave got her. I like the way Mallory is channeling Marilyn Monroe in one of these shots.

Later, we returned properly attired:

I was surprised at how brave both of the girls were at the beach. To be honest, watching the kids swim in the ocean, even at the very edge of the beach, freaks me out a bit, what with the possibility of being swept away forever and all. But Mallory and Phoebe loved it, even Phoebe, who last summer wouldn't even get into a wading pool. She stood and shouted, "It's coming! It's coming!" as a wave approached, and then said, "I can do this!" or "Take it one step at a time!" as the water rushed over her. Mallory's comment was that she had to be sure to thank God for making the ocean because it sure was great.

The only bad part about the beach is that apparently I've become one of those curmudgeonly people who can only sleep in her own bed. Something about that seems just so middle-aged. Sigh. So I'm a bit tired. Oh, and Phoebe has re-entered a tantrum-throwing stage, so we had a couple of big screaming fits about inconsequential matters, all of course at locations or times when I couldn't do anything to settle her down or flee the scene (on the bus, at the pool while Mallory was still swimming). I don't know if she was just tired, or if the stress of being potty-trained is getting to her, or if this is just a fun new phase. Whee!

The high school girls thought our little girls were adorable, and Mallory was thrilled beyond definition when three of them accepted her invitation to come swimming on Tuesday night. They quizzed her on the type of TV shows she liked and agreed with her that Drake and Josh, Camp Rock, and Zoey 101 were cool, but H20 was kind of dumb. (They also, like Phoebe, enjoy a good episode of Max & Ruby.) Mallory told Chris that she was going to make a picture for all the girls for him to bring to class when school starts up. "They can each bring it home for two days, then they have to bring it back and give it to someone else," she explained. (She also told me that I should be a teacher like Chris. "I don't know how to be a teacher," I said. "Well, here's the first step," she said. "When someone does their math problem wrong, you be mean to them. It's simple!")

Speaking of teaching, the funniest moment happened in the pool on Tuesday night, when the students noticed a cute boy in the hot tub. "Hey Mallory, don't you want to go to the hot tub?" one girl asked loudly, and when Mallory agreed, she whispered to her friends, "That's our excuse! Come on!" Chris, Phoebe and I followed a few minutes later; the girls were trying to engage the cute boy in conversation, but he didn't seem very interested. Then one of them said, pointing to Chris, "That's Mr. K, he's our yearbook teacher." The cute boy said, "Hey, do you mind if I ask you a few questions? I'm thinking about majoring in education," and then spent the next ten minutes talking to Chris about teaching. The look on the girls' faces was priceless.

So that's what we did on our summer vacation. As the girls put it, I wish it could've lasted forever and ever. Or at least a few more days.


Anonymous said...

I guess that Chris's students learned the hard way that Chris is a kid magnet. Looks like even big kids!


aimee said...

Aww, that sounds so much fun! I am so glad you all had a good time. I laughed at Mallory's advice on teaching. That is hilarious.