Seagulls and Sandwiches

The school year is drawing to a close. My schedule is no busier or different than a flotillion other families out there. The universe does it. It crams 419 extracurricular things into the last 3 weeks of school just to see if you’ll crack. The ones that don’t crack get asked back for another year of education. The ones that do are escorted off the property. There are special places for them.

I’m still proving this theory.

But because I felt I was going to be asked back and because I felt we were actually swimming with the current, I said, “HEY! Let’s go out of town!” That’s the thing.

And everyone said yes. Even the teenager.

Wow, that was easy. Should’ve done it about 10 years ago.

We headed to the beach for a rare 2 days away from whatever town was serving up. I realize we were only 50 minutes from our house. But it couldn’t have felt more like another planet. We were a world away from stuff, schedules, projects, stress, and distractions. And we were together. REALLY together. It was perfect.

Except for that seagull incident. That could’ve been nasty. We were all 6 swimming in the Gulf of Mexico and enjoying ourselves immensely. The water was crystal clear. I’ve never seen it this clear and I’ve been swimming in this exact spot for 20 years. There was nothing scary, floaty, or gross to be seen anywhere. So we were playing ball and hunting for shells under the water, etc. At one point on Sunday afternoon, the girls asked if we could all swim out to the sandbar. This seemed like a good idea and an easy enough task to accomplish. I thought it was low tide. So we all headed that direction. Pretty soon, we were up to our necks in water that I had been certain was just waist deep. AG and SnuggleMonkey turned back immediately and said no thanks. We told them where the safe deposit box was and to share the trust fund equally. Trust fund. Now we know we’re writing fiction. B and Beloved and Todd and I kept going, excited for the payoff that would be splashing around on a sandbar and having the best time ever. I was in the lead, so I was the first one to see it. A white shape floating in the water just ahead. It was a dead stingray, I thought. Belly up. Looked scary. Oh, no. Not a stingray. Just a white-bread sandwich. Disintegrating and beginning to break apart. Hey, kids. No need to turn away. It’s a sandwich.

We decided not to see what was in the sandwich and just keep swimming. We finally arrived at this amazing sandbar.
The water was still neck deep. I could barely stand up. The kids most certainly could not. And there was no splashing around to be had, unless you count the awkward treading of water that was required just to stay alive a few more minutes.

We were there for about 45 seconds and then turned back toward shore. On the return, we encountered the sandwich again. It was looking a little less together than the first time we’d passed it. But this time, we were not the only ones to see it.

Out of the sky swooped a sandwich-eating flock of seagulls, making all KINDS of racket. They were probably yelling to each other things like, “Hey! A sandwich! Check it out! Lunch is on me, guys!” Or maybe it was less friendly and more competitive. Maybe there were threats…jockeying for first bites. Either way, they were diving out of the sky and grabbing chunks of that bread like their diploma depended on it. And we almost got caught in the crossfire.

But we didn’t.

Which kinda makes this a dumb story.

Oh well.

I had a good weekend with my family, so there’s that.


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