Thursday, April 12, 2012

The Beach Boys.

Look at this picture.

Doesn't the ocean look serene? The lazy afternoon sun, doesn't it look inviting? All of it calls your name, does it not?

Now picture this:

One Isaiah and one Zachary Manning who ran into that very ocean full speed ahead early on the morning this photo was taken. Yes, this lovely ocean where they frolicked, played, bodysurfed, kayaked, sand crab-caught and much more for the entire day. Right up until shortly before this lovely, serene photo was snapped with my remarkably pixelated hand-me-down-from-my-dad iPhone 4.

A wonderful seafood barbecue had been planned by my brother and some family friends so it made it necessary for two very reluctant little boys to get out of the water, hosed down and tossed into a bubble bath. This is exactly what their dear mother did. Scrubbed them to a spit shine, washed their little faces and covered them with a very good-smelling lotion. Upstairs they went, all squeaky clean and gleefully holding their Nintendo DSi games which had been authorized by both parents for use.

The BHE takes this DSi time to shower himself off since he is the kayaking parent and I am the Bud Light Lime and a book parent who had already showered some time earlier. And so. Kids are playing video games. Grandma Shug is getting herself ready. Uncle Will is in another bathroom readying himself as is Auntie Fran. And older cousins are scattered about doing the things that older cousins do.

And me? Well I sat on the couch reading a book and dozing off. Which, let me just quickly digress and say that if you haven't read this book called "Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children" go ahead and check it out if you want to go on a trippy mind trip. That and if you like a nice quick read full of weirdness a la "The Hunger Games."


So wha-ha-happened after that is that I kind of went from dozing off to all the way asleep on the couch despite how great the book was. Something about the ocean sounds and lazy afternoon sun does that to you. And so. Up the stairs comes the BHE who says, "Hey Mommy, where're the boys?" And I reply, "Hey Daddy, they're playing their DS games" while rubbing sleep from my eyes. And before you say it, yes we call each other "Mommy" and "Daddy" when discussing our children. So anyways, Harry says, "Where?" and I say, "In the living room." And he says, "Uhhh no. . ."

So I look out of the window and first I see this:

Which is really no big deal because the cousins are all big girls and they can get themselves ready quite quickly. They are also excellent at watching the little boys so in the event that the kids had gone out to put their feet in the sand, I never once felt even an ounce of panic.


Here is what this photo does not capture. Just to the left of the cousins were two little brown yet curiously fully-clothed little creatures body surfing right beside them. Yes. The same ones who had just been scrubbed down, shampooed and lotioned up. Fully immersed in the ocean in their khaki shorts and polo shirts that had been placed on them with a mother's love just two seconds before. (Okay, actually not two seconds but way to recently for them to be back in that ocean.)

And seriously? I admit that at the time I was too flabbergasted to think to snap a photo of it but of course everyone had to admit that it was funny as all get-out.

So yes. The boys had snuck past me in their clean and pressed clothes, headed downstairs to the beach with their big cousins, and then commenced to go bodysurfing. Bodysurfing! And guess what? Even Puppy was bodysurfing which was equal parts mommy-screaming-at-you-inducing and LOL-funny.

"Isaiah!!!! You're almost seven years old! You know you know better than to get in the water in all of your clothes, son!! What were you thinking?"

And one Isaiah Manning looked me squarely in the eye as only Isaiah can and told me with a forlorn sigh as he gazed out at this very scene:

"Mom? I just couldn't resist. The ocean was calling me."

And what do you say to that? Certainly the ocean has called you, too. Has it not?

Okay, and just maybe his mama should have been aware that he was in an ocean bodysurfing with his five year-old brother. And just maybe somebody reading this just can't get past that little fact and wants to call Child and Family Services on me. But if you know my children (and if you read this blog you do know them)--you know how true it is that Isaiah saw this as a 100% viable explanation for bodysurfing while fully clothed. Even if it negated the full scrub down and spit shine he had just received less than thirty minutes before.

And as for his little brother, one Zachary Manning, he simply said:

"I like the beach and swimming in it. So I did."

Which if you know Zachary, made perfect sense to him. Perfect sense.
And yes. This is just a glimpse of my so-called life outside of Grady.

Oh, and if you are too new to know about Puppy and The Puppy Mafia? You can start by clicking that link. If that's not enough, just go ahead and type that term into the search bar on the right side of this blog if you want some fully unimportant, mindless reading of absolutely zero importance. Ha.

Happy Thursday.

P.S. Carol R. and Sister Moon -- this post was for you as I felt certain that you would both enjoy this imagery. (As well as the explanations provided for them.)


  1. Yes. The ocean does call us. I love this post. This is the Way of the Beach, The Way of The Love. The Way of The Boy.

  2. I love this post and could see it totally happening with my boys, too. I especially relate to the bad mom part -- but who knew it would take such herculean effort to ensure that one's sons had an ounce of common sense?

  3. I'm with the boys and the cousins - get into the ocean as much as you can when you are there. we are sadly lacking in water to get into here in atlanta. i guess the barbque was happening at a different location?

  4. This post warmed my heart - your boys and their mama, and their daddy, and their cousins and everyone who loves them and is loved by them... make this world a more bright and beautiful place.

    And I cannot recount the number of times my boys have done things that are equally as frustrating (from the standpoint of time and effort I spent on doing something that they just reversed in 10 seconds) and yet so adorable that I simply cannot be mad.

    These boys have a way of making us melt with love.

  5. Sister Moon -- I knew you'd love a beach post and would have been just fine with them bodysurfing in their good clothes.

    Elizabeth -- Such a herculean effort! It was sooo funny, though!

    Kristin -- Yes, the barbecue was two doors down at my brother's friends' place. They were awesome and hospitable and I'm guessing not so up for soggy bottom boys at their table!

    WCD -- Thanks, sweet girl.

  6. Ah yes. The most recent time we had a comparable situation at the family beach vacation, one of the "kids" who went back into the water in his good, pressed clothes was 65 year old granddaddy. He said they couldn't resist the waves. How could you blame the gradeschooler when GD did it?

    Barbara in TX


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