Getting back to the school grind

I woke up this morning horrified and amused to realize I was no better than a truant teen-age surfer.All I wanted to do was chuck all my responsibilities and head for the beach. School is back in session this week, and even those of us with a bit of time off are back at it, but our hearts lie to the west.

I’ve decided to blame it on muscle memory. For a good part of my childhood, mid-August was the time my family piled into the car and from whatever point of the compass we were stationed, drove to San Diego and the beach. It happened to be Mission Beach, but the beach isn’t the most important part. The middle two weeks of August, was when, without fail, the weather was sparkling, the water was above 70 degrees and I didn’t have to do anything but lie in the sun and splash in the ocean to my heart’s content.

There was a pause, I’ll admit, in my idyllic Augusts, but having kids got me back down to the beach again and it felt like I’d never left. I had more reason than most mothers to pout when they started school. Besides, going to the beach isn’t nearly as much fun without kids and girlfriends. Who’s going to coax you into the water even when you aren’t sure it’s warm enough? Who will help you build your sand castle? Who the heck is going to let you bury their legs and carve out mermaid fins instead?

A person should get over that once they have purchased their weight in pencils, notebooks and backpacks. It’s almost as good as being transferred to Yuma, but it is very tough to fight the pull of the ocean. Heck, just ask the tides. This time of year, I might be driving north by northeast, but my brain very badly wants me to head west.

On behalf of the chambers of commerce, I will mention that if you chose to vacation here now, you picked the perfect time. All the teachers and children have returned to air-conditioned classrooms, and you can have the perfect beach weather all to yourselves. And don’t think we don’t resent the heck out of it.

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