You ever notice that in life things don’t start to happen in slow motion until you hit the apex of a disaster? And then every single second of every minute seems to drag on and the frustration, anger, or pain seem to intensify during this process.
Well at least when you’re observing someone else’s disaster.
I felt pretty bad about it. But in retrospect they really should have known better. The wind is a powerful force of nature. Don’t mess with it, especially when you’re at the beach.
There we were … hanging out at our spot in sand this weekend celebrating the awesomeness of the Pacific Ocean with a Gidget-Caliber Beach Party and I saw it happen. A family’s dream of a nice, long, relaxing, fun day at the beach disappear.
Now normally pop-up beach tents are an awesome accessory when you’re hanging out. Great for the shade, awesome for protecting your kids from UV rays, helps keep you cool, and sometimes act as an awesome sand-free diaper changer. Great right?
But when the wind is blowing at 20-30 miles per hour you have to make a judgement call on whether shade or your sanity is worth it.
I decided on sanity, a lot of sunscreen and hats.
I don’t have a fancy pop-up, just a couple of giant umbrellas and considering the sand storms that morning, I decided it was best not to take them out of the truck.
As I set up my little station and weighed everything down with rocks and sand toys, they came trotting along with their frisbees, Transformer kites, sand toys, three kids and a tent. They began taking out their belongings and even though everyone else on the entire beach did not have their umbrellas and pop-tents setup, they felt the need to fight the good fight and provide a cozy shade for their family.
It looked like a sad game of Twister that Mother Nature was winning, them trying to hold the corners and polls of the tent on opposite sides and then the wind blowing down their efforts. Their youngest kid didn’t help much, screaming at full blast because she didn’t like wind. The mom abandoned her post to tend to her kid and the tent went flying. The dad tumbled backwards and the two older kids jumped in to help dad rescue the tent from the waves.
After this incident you would have thought they would have stopped. But no … they didn’t.
Dad did his best to raise up the polls and try to stabilize the tent, while his other kids tangled up kite strings and asked him for help, and mom hung out on the shore with the little one. He continued.
There he was struggling and the entire beach community just watched it happen … in slow motion. Nobody got up to help or even offered to help. I figured everyone was like me, trying to make sure their own stuff didn’t go flying into the ocean and pretty much figured common sense would strike and they would put the tent away, and bust out the sunscreen.
No. Mom gave the what-is-taking-you-so-long look? And the Dad just sighed as he kept trying to do a two-man job by himself. Eventually the screams of a two-year old were too much for a mom to bear, and she took her kid and walked back to the parking lot.
He dismantled his tent and packed up the rest of their belongings.
We all witnessed the downfall of a good dad as Mother Nature won.
The sad part was thirty minutes later, a family of three with the same kind of tent put it up in less than five minutes.