What says "happy holidays" better than a half-naked kiddo at the beach? I can't think of anything. For our last-ever (sniff, sniff) trip to Baja Malibu, Nick insisted on going down to the beach and trying to swim. He'd been up since 5a.m. alternating between cartoons, mock-martial-arts with a curtain rod, and staring longingly at the ocean.
Then two things happened, that, to a 12-year-old within throwing distance of a swimmable body of water, made the prospect of a long afternoon nearly unbearable: Dad broke the computer and was looking at a long day (and night!) of downloading and installing Linux to replace the Windows he'd deleted; and two little local kids hitting the waves with their boogie boards.
"Fine," I said, almost at the end of my patience. "I'll take you down there and you can just try to swim. I dare you."
Now, keep in mind that the Pacific is chilly even in the summer. The first time the waves hit your toes, you think, "I'm gonna be swimming in that?!" and then when the waves hit you in the crotch for the first time, well, it's pretty shocking. Even Deidre might have some trouble with it.
So as Nick is splashing away down there, all I can think about is: 1) Thank God he's a strong enough swimmer so I won't have to go rescue him and 2) If he gets sick doing this, I'll have a minimum of 6 parents/stepparents/grandparents calling and asking what exactly I was thinking letting him in the water two days before Christmas.
The second day we went down to the beach, Christmas eve, a couple of surfers were getting ready to go in, you know, putting on their wetsuits and everything like sane and normal people would. When they saw Nick splashing around in the surf in his underwear, they just shook their heads.
Anyway, you'll be glad to know Nick did not, in fact, get sick from his winter swimming, so nobody have a panic attack. Have a great Christmas day instead.