In middle school and high school I took French instead of Spanish. Almost everyone else chose to take Spanish. I always felt like I was missing out on some inside joke by not being in Spanish with everyone else, so I tried to pick up a few phrases to feel more included. One of those phrases was “Eres muy fea.”, because my best friend would always say it to me. Yes, I have always surrounded myself with loving and supportive people. The other was “Vamos a la playa.”, which I would chant in a sing-song, obnoxious, “Aren’t I so cute saying my little Spanish sentence?” way. I can’t remember why I learned and held onto this particular phrase. I did grow up in a beach town, but I actually don’t think that had anything to do with it – odd. Oh wait! I did also know ‘muchacha,’ because it was how another friend and I addressed each other when writing notes in 7th grade. Yes, we were just so adorable and creative. Don’t worry, I have already paid the price for being an obnoxious little tween…I have taught 8th graders! French, no less! Ohhh, the irony.
In any event, the point of all of that, was that my little 15 year old self had no idea how pertinent the phrase ‘Vamos a la playa.” would be to my adult life.
First of all, please disregard the crying baby in the background. He honestly started crying right as I took the picture and I picked him up and fed him immediately after taking this picture. He had gone 4 min, 53 sec without eating and was clearly starving.
Now in the foreground you see a child that very clearly just finished asking, you guessed it, “Vamos a la playa?” ( I know, I know, but I can’t figure out how to do the upside down question mark on this computer.) Look at those expectant eyes. Poor thing. No, Carlitos, we are not going to the beach today. But try again tomorrow. You never know.
So, I had been in the guest room – nursing, obviously, since that is pretty much ALL I do right now- when Carlitos brought in a yellow sand pail. Innocent enough. But then he came back with a second one and asked me “Wat dis?” Yellow bucket, I said. (Bucket seemed easier than sand pail.) He put it on the bed next to the first bucket/sand pail. Then he came back with a big, red shovel. “Wat dis?” Uh, a frighteningly realistic shovel that you need to move away from Baby Brother right this instant! He put it on the bed.
This went on with every single item you see on that bed. Sunscreen, goggles, pails, shovels, sand molds, a swim vest, a floatie thingie, a beach ball. It was like a page from a foreign language textbook entitled “La Playa” with labeled pictures of everything you might possibly bring to a beach. Only I had to do all of the labeling. Thank goodness he didn’t ask me in Spanish, because I don’t even know how to say ‘floatie thingie’ in English, let alone Spanish.
And then he gave me his best puppy dog eyes and asked me “Vamos a la playa today?” (He loves Spanglish right now.) Honestly, the whole thing was so cute I seriously considered jumping in the car and driving to Long Island for the day. But I didn’t. However, we are actually going to the beach next Wednesday – don’t tell Carlitos! I can’t wait to see the look on his face on Wednesday morning when I get to say to him “Carlitos, vamos a la playa!” (I know, I don’t know how to make the upside down exclamation point either – sorry.) I’m pretty sure he is going to feel like the luckiest boy on the planet…and that will make me feel like the best mom in the world.