You are under no obligation to do anything stupid.
- attributed to Warren Buffett
Stupid was seeing a guy in a red car a few spaces ahead of us hydroplane on the wet highway and end up in the wall. The stupid piled on as Dan called 911 to report the wreck and was put on hold by the state highway patrol. I hope the driver is okay.
At 8 AM, Dan left the room to attend one of the first meetings of his conference, and, infuriatingly for me, he slammed the door, which I should have known he'd do. It woke up the little guy, who instantly started in on the track he'd been on the day before.
"We're going to the beach, right, Mom?"
"Uuuurrrgggghhh, yeeeesss...but you have to get dressed."
No problem there. It takes this child a half-hour to three-quarters of an hour to get his underwear on. Maybe I could sneak a little more sleep...
"Okay, Mom, I'm dressed! Let's go!"
Oh, dear God, he is, and it only took him two minutes.
"We need to get breakfast first, kiddo."
My son the Energizer bunny hops his way to the elevator and we head down to the breakfast room for something to eat. I give him his bagel and something to drink and think, okay, he'll take a long while here, too.
"Mom, I'm done! Beach, beach, beach!!!!"
"But...you've only taken a few bites of your bagel..."
"Let's go to the beach, Mom!!! Today!!!"
And so we go. We spend four hours on the sand until I drag the child off to the hotel for lunchtime. It is then that I discover the burn of a thousand suns on my upper back and the backs of my thighs, where the sunblock spray apparently did not reach. Let's hear it for the third stupid move of the weekend. Thanks ever so much.
So glad we left on Sunday.
I seem to have been surrounded by those who have lost much these past few days. A young girl my son's age with nothing beneath her shins. A man frolicking in the surf with his family, his artificial leg lying on the beach for him to recover when he had had his fill of the water. A pretty woman in a bikini enjoying the beach with a friend - and the woman had only one arm. At first glance, these folks might look to be fairly disabled by what is thought to be the norm - but my son and the girl were having a ball climbing on all the playground equipment at the fast food place. The man and the bikini-clad woman were having a great time with family and friends.
And then, there's my husband.
We walked out of Magnificent Desolation at the IMAX theater at Kennedy Space Center and deposited our 3D glasses in the proper bins. "Well, I was able to discern the parts that were supposed to be 3D okay," Dan said with a grin.
I'd never really thought much about Dan's depth perception (or complete lack of it) before. The green-to-hazel color of his eyes, yes. What he could actually see with them, no.
"Huh," I said. "Sooo, if they had initially tested 3D movies on you back in the '50's, you'd have rained on their parade. 'This'll never work! NOTHING's jumping out at me!' " We both had a good laugh.
NOTHING holds my husband back, either.
Oh, you know a vacation is gonna be one to remember when your son is remembered for singing the Kinks at the beach first thing and some Tom Lehrer when he leaves. It will also be remembered for a great tour of NASA's Space Center in Florida, conducted on large tour buses playing informational videos about everything from what you'll see at shuttle launch pad 39 to the nifty creatures you'll be seeing at the wildlife refuge on which the space center sits (the alligators must get seriously pissed when a rocket blasts off - be happy you're watching most of the launches from home, America!). You won't forget the nifty Shuttle Launch Experience simulator that make your neck feel as though it is having the flesh pulled off it. Seeing the nice model of the Ares craft that is supposed to be sending astronauts to Mars in the (hopefully) near future is memorable as well ("It looks like it could be a Cross pen!" Dan comments on looking at a small metal model of the Ares). Checking out which books were omitted from the Space Shop is certainly noteworthy.
But the best moment comes when the little guy selects his purchase from the gift shop.
It's not a Saturn V.
It's not a space shuttle.
You guessed it...What did we expect? Nothing was blasting off pad 39 either day we were there. Nothing was landing at the strip nearby. The Saturn V on display took a backseat to the flocks of large, black, vulture-like birds amassed just outside the building in which it was housed. And hey, we haven't gone back to the moon since the early '70's.
Pull back and go, people. In 10, 9, 8....