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The Villages
Thursday, July 29, 2021

A funny thing happened when we went to the beach

Lisa DeMarco

I know I always talk about the angels that guide and guard me, but I never realized my grandson, Jeremy, came with his own full-time guardian angel. Yes, my lil’ man seems to have some type of personal helper that grants him nearly every wish he desires, despite what Grandpa and I have to say. 

Not to say that he isn’t already slightly spoiled and extremely pampered, but even beyond that, he has a gift for getting things without even having to ask more or less to pay for them. A perfect example: We recently went to pick up our keys to our new beach pad, and because of my O.C.D, one of the first things I needed to do was take a quick trip to the store and pick up some cleaning products. The plan was to get in quickly, get what we needed, and be done. We had a list. We were not going to veer from it. Anything that wasn’t on the list could wait until after we got unpacked, but disinfectants and sanitizers were a must – along with some basic snacks to fill my pantry, beverages to fill my refrigerator, and frozen pizza and chicken nuggets to fill my Mr. Fussy.

Again, if it wasn’t on the list it wasn’t going in the cart, and if it wasn’t found on an aisle we intended to be on then we were not going near that section of the store. Point blank! In and out. We were about to have a major thunderstorm, and it was already starting to rain when we pulled up into the parking lot. Plus, we were on our 10th hour into the day, which wouldn’t seem too long if we weren’t traveling with an overactive 6-year-old boy that thinks he’s a 50-year-old man. 

As soon as we walked in the front door at Wally World, because it is summertime, we were bombarded by every water toy for the beach and pool you could imagine. Immediately the, “Can I have… ”  started rolling out of his mouth.

Joe and I stood strong together and said no to all his requests, promising that once we got settled in we would consider buying something new. By the end of our conversation, he was steadfast on buying a boogie board. He had never owned a boogie board. I didn’t even know if he was balanced enough to try it. I did believe that with the calm Gulf water, in comparison to the Atlantic Ocean, he could possibly learn how to use one. No matter how convincing his words or his puppy eyes tried to be though, we were not buying it that day.

He is a DeMarco though.  This means he is not only stubborn, but he also never stops talking! (No clue where he gets that from.) The whole way back to the apartment, and the entire ride to the beach the next day, Jeremy attempted to manipulate his way into somehow finding himself a boogie board he could use. It started with, “Grandma, if there are boogie boards for sale at the beach, can we buy one?”

Grandpa quickly answered, “NO! Not today lil’ man. Remember what we talked about yesterday? 

“Yes sir, I do, but you got settled in. Didn’t you, Grandma?” he asked, giving me his pathetic look that always melts my heart. 

I answered, “Yes, my love, we’re looking pretty settled in.” 

“So, if someone is selling boogie boards can I get one? Because you said yesterday that when we were settled in I could get one.”

“Yes, I did say that. But I already packed you your raft and your beach toys for today. You have plenty of toys for now. I promise I will get you a boogie board when the time is right, okay?”

To which he responded with a shrug of his shoulders and a deep huff. A few minutes later he asked me, “What if I meet someone at the beach that has a boogie board, can I ask them to use it?” 

I was sitting right next to our child in the back seat, and I was the person he was directing his inquisition to, but Jeremy was somehow pushing Joe’s buttons causing him to keep answering.  “Jeremy, you cannot ask a total stranger if you can use his toys.” 

“Well, what if we make friends before I ask?” 

Stumped, I glance up into my husband’s reflection in the rearview mirror, and I realize he too was stumped by the conversation. He finally answered, “No! No! No! There will be no boogie board today. Let’s just go to the beach and have fun! Enough! Please!.” 

Finally, the subject was dropped. We arrived at the beach, grabbed our load of stuff, and headed down the long stretch of hot sand to the water edge. Joe dragged our wagon over the soft, white sand while trying to balance our chairs, coolers, and rafts, as I lagged behind them. Just as I approached them, I watched my husband dart across the beach chasing a runaway umbrella. It appeared a young mother with her three children were heading out; they had set up on the beach early that morning as their last day of vacation before getting on a plane back to Minnesota. 

The poor lady didn’t know that she didn’t have to bring the lounge chairs and the umbrella back to the stand where they came from that morning. That’s how the umbrella got away from her. She said she was equipped for ice and snow, not wind and sand storms. So when my husband flagged down one of the guys to take the chairs and umbrella back, the young man kindly informed us that technically the chairs were already reserved for the day, 8 a.m. to 4 p.m., and it was only 1 p.m. He suggested we just use them, and he would come back and pick them up at closing, which meant we just got them for the day for free. 

Thrilled, Joe and I thanked the man and our new Minnesota friends for letting us move into their space. Even better was when the older daughter came over and handed Jeremy two brand new bucket and shovel sets, insisting he have them because, “We’re getting on a plane in a couple of hours, and my mom said if it didn’t come with us on the plane from Minnesota then it wasn’t going home with us.” 

The cherry on top of this delicious beach day sundae was when the youngest son, who was Jeremy’s age, walked up to him and said, “I don’t know if you know what this is, but my mom said it wasn’t going with us on the plane either. Do you want it too?” he asked. 

To which we all simultaneously in 90 plus degree weather got a shiver before answering in stereo,” It’s a boogie board.”

“I do know what it is, and I would like to use it very much,” Jeremy said proudly and politely. 

“No you can keep it,” the boy said. “Honest. Unless you don’t want it,” he said with a smile. 

“Oh no, I do want it,” Jeremy insisted. 

Then the boy dropped it on the sand and ran off to his family who was already headed towards the parking lot. “It was nice meeting you,” he shouted.

I immediately teared up, but my Joey just looked on in amazement. Then, my grandson stood in front of us looking like the angel baby that he is, and said, “Sorry Grandpa, I know you didn’t want me to have this yet, but my angel said differently!”

“Heard,” I whispered to myself, as I leaned down to pick up the boogie board from the sand. Just then I noticed written on the board it said, “Take me to the beach!”

“Enough said,” I thought. Truly out of the mouths of babes.

Laugh on. Peace out.

Lisa DeMarco is a columnist for Villages-News.com

 

 

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