It always gives me a gigantic thrill to see Aura run straight to the waves when we visit my mother in RI, to watch the way she throws her typical caution to the salty wind and splashes right in, going deeper until we warn her to stop.
I take greedy breaths of the ocean air, watching Aura jump and run. This is more like it, I think. Out in nature! Away from iPads and smartphones and computer games! I give myself a smarmy little mental pat on the back as I gaze upon her.
Taking my hand, Aura drags me farther into the waves, very purposefully ignoring the fact that I am in a t-shirt and shorts because it is a Super Fat Day, the Kind of Day That No Tankini Can Fix, No Matter the Supposed Hidden Stomach Flattening Panel.
“THIS IS THE WAVE-KICKING GAME,” Aura announces to me and the, oh, 1,000 other people and probable pacifists standing nearby. “WE WILL KICK THE WAVES TO MAKE BOMBS EXPLODE.” Mad kicking and splashing with BOOMWHAMGOTYOU sound effects follow. I immediately try to position my legs so that my shadow looks kind of like one of those doves of peace, because I once heard you can fool the people of Rhode Island like this.
“Oh, no. We don’t want to hurt the waves!” I chirp brightly, recognizing that this is the daftest thing I have ever said, assuming you don’t count that time I told her it wasn’t nice to squish ants because of their “little ant feelings” and also that time in college when I told a room full of people that white zinfandel was the only type of wine worth drinking.
By the time we reach the last stage of the game (firmly and blaringly declared “THE PUNCHING STAGE”), I have picked up a pointy stick and written, photographed, and texted to Adam the following message in the sand:
FOR THE LOVE OF GOD AND BEFORE WE GET HOME, EXCHANGE THE IPAD FOR SOME BOOKS. OR A MUZZLE. WE CAN’T BE PICKY.
(Between us, though, that Cut the Rope is an awfully good game.)
(I wouldn’t remember this, however, because we sold the iPad.)
(Nope. Total lie there. You should see me with Fruit Ninja. I am like a pineapple-slashing blur. I can totally see the appeal of ninja swords. Why have I never owned a ninja sword, anyway?)
(Well, considering that I was kicked out of both ballet and knitting classes for lack of coordination, I suppose the answer to the above question is rather obvious. BUT STILL. PEOPLE CHANGE.)