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I Get My Hair Wet

July 20, 2011

I woke up this morning and glanced at the mirror as I brushed my teeth.  My hair was gnarled into a rat’s nest in the back, and the front was sticking up looking like it was styled on the set of “There’s Something About Mary.”

I laughed and attempted to smooth it down with my hands on my way to the coffee pot, thinking about what a great beach day I enjoyed yesterday.  I took my three kids for a day trip on the beach that got us home around 5:30PM, tossed some frozen tortellini in a pot and called it dinner.  We all ate with smiles on our faces, then played a bit and crashed hard in bed for the night.  I never managed to shower.

My hair was a mess because it was still caked in salt water and sunscreen spray.  But it was totally worth it.  I have a group of girlfriends in town who do “Beach Tuesdays” in the summer.  I met these awesome women only two years ago when my oldest was in Kindergarten.  When they told me in the spring that they bring their kids to the beach every Tuesday WITHOUT ANOTHER ADULT, I thought they were nuts.  But they convinced me that, if one mom who had four kids and her youngest was a baby, could do it, then so could I.  I am so glad they did.

So I do Beach Tuesdays now, too.  In truth, my three kids love playing with all of their kids and we moms drag our beach chairs to the top of the little hill where we can watch them dig in the sand.  We go in the ocean with our little ones and make umpteen trips back and forth to the water filling up buckets and helping them dig to China.  But we actually do get to enjoy some great adult conversation while our kids are soaking up the beach fun.  It’s group parenting at its best.

Yesterday, I had my daughter in the water with me, taking turns jumping, running, dancing and dunking in the waves.  She is three, so she’s naturally a bit nervous about the waves crashing, but loves it enough to ask to stay in longer than both of my boys.  After one pretty big wave knocked her off balance, she clung to me, upset that her pigtails got wet.

I tried to soothe her, telling her that getting her hair wet is no big deal.  It will dry.  But she still wasn’t happy.  Then I put her hand up to my ponytail and asked her how my hair felt.  “Your hair is wet, too, Mommy!” she said with a hint of a smile.  I told her that diving all the way under the waves is my absolute favorite part of the ocean.  I try to get completely dunked every single time I’m at the beach if I can.  When we have to leave the beach, I told her, we brush all the sand off and we get in dry clothes, but the salt from the ocean water stays in our hair longer.  Then later in the evening, we can still smell the beach so we don’t miss it as much.

For the rest of the afternoon, she asked me to dunk her in over and over.  “Get my hair wet, too!” she giggled.  When I took out her pigtails for bathtime, she pulled her hair to her nose and sniffed.  “I smell ocean!”

My rat’s nest reflection this morning just made me smile instead of cringe.  I inhaled a mix of salt, sweat, sunscreen and coffee.   I’m glad I get my hair wet.

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