Roscoe-T was in town for a few days with his girlfriend, Skye (who I met and fell in love with a few months back, when they were still just friends) and requested a trip to the beach, which meant I got to spend the day with all four of my kiddos.
Unfortunately though, our day got off to a rocky start when the Norman Rockwell expectations in my mind collided with reality, as they so often do.
The kids had stayed the night up at my mom's house with Ross and were supposed to meet up at our house for lunch at 11:30, with the intention of leaving for the beach by noon.
I made sure that lunch (grilled mozzarella, pesto and tomato sandwiches) was ready at 11:30, but Ross and the kids didn't arrive until 12:10. Then, 3 of my 4 kids complained about their lunch. And then, everyone sat around/was occupied in the restroom/was doing their own thing while I packed up the car by myself.
So by the time we all loaded up in the car at 12:45, and Ross said, "Are you excited mama?!?" I was feeling several emotions, none of which were 'excited.'
And that's when I lit into everyone in the car (except for Ross's girlfriend) about how rude it was to sit around, complaining about lunch while I served it, and how inconsiderate it was to let me pack up and load up and take care of everything by myself, without so much as an offering of help, and how ridiculous it was that every single one of my children was 'excited' about going to the beach, but not willing to lift a finger to make the trip possible.
But then Ross stopped at the grocery store to get some Dramamine for Skye, and came back with a bouquet of flowers for me hidden behind his back and that was all it took for everyone to say their apologies and to lighten the mood in the car.
And then we made the two-hour drive to the beach while Ross tried to impress me with all of his favorite music, and the kids laughed, and fought over the orange beach ball I had just bought, and sang, and talked.
The weather forecast said it was going to be 70 degrees (a nice escape from the 103 degree temperatures at our house) but as we neared Brookings, we could see that it was socked in with thick clouds and temperatures closer to 60.
We unpacked the car at one of my favorite State Parks and headed down the trail towards the cold beach, but were stopped by a woman who said that there was a sewage spill nearby that was affecting the water. And since I'm not a big fan of nearby sewage spills, we turned right back around, loaded the car back up, and headed North for a different beach, sans sewage.
About 10 miles up the road, the clouds parted and the temperatures reached their promised 70 degrees, and we found a steep, yet little-known path that led down to big, lovely oceanfront that we had all to ourselves for the entire (lovely) afternoon...