Sharks Eat the Kids from Church Retreats First

cannon at the fort
Following is a transcript of the conversation as I was taking my eldest daughter to her first church beach retreat:

Me: Let's review a few key items before we get to the church. Stop texting and pay attention.

Callie (12.5 years old): Ohhh-kay.

Me: A good rule of thumb for behavior is if you wouldn't do something if I was standing there watching because you might get in trouble, don't do it.  But don't get this confused with something you might do while I was standing there for my personal amusement, like the time you leaned against the cannon and shouted "FIRE IN THE HOLE" then shot yourself across the historic square in St. Augustine. Please do not scream FIRE IN THE HOLE at all on this trip.

Callie: Mmm-hmmm. Got it.

Me: It is impossible to apply too much sunscreen. It is possible to apply sunscreen haphazardly and end up with a giant hand print on your back. It is also possible to fail to apply sunscreen at all, tan yourself into a piece of shoe leather, then spend the majority of your 30s letting a dermatologist hack you up.

Callie: That's gross. And awkward. Please stop.

Hadley (10.5 years old): You should show her some of your scars when we get there, Mom.

Me: Hadley, stop talking. I only have a few more minutes to impart years of wisdom.

Me: Riptides. Do you know how to get safely out of a riptide?

Callie: Huh? What? Are you still talking to me?

Me: Riptides. They will drag you out into the sea to your watery death, if you survive the shark attack. If you are caught in a riptide, remember to swim parallel to the shore until you are out of the riptide, then you swim perpendicular toward the shore to safety.

Callie: Is this geometry?

Me: Come to think of it, just don't go any further than knee-deep in the ocean. You do know there have been shark attacks in knee-deep water, right?

Hadley: If you swim out to the sandbar, be sure to take a floatie or a raft with you. Last time I was at the lake my friend and I were stuck on the sandbar for a while because the undertow was so strong we couldn't swim in.

Me: WHAT? You aren't allowed to go to the lake anymore. Callie do NOT swim out to the sandbar. It's where hungry sharks go to devour tasty-looking humans.

Callie: {No audible  response. I suspect aggressive eye-rolling.}

Me: You know two of my dear friends from high school were sunning themselves on rafts in the ocean on a church retreat and they drifted out more than 3 miles from shore AND THEY DIDN'T EVEN REALIZE IT UNTIL A BOAT CAME BY AND PICKED THEM UP.

Callie: They got into a boat with people they didn't know?

Me: Missing. The. Point. Do not float around in the ocean on a raft. Or get into a boat with people you don't know. Also, the only boy allowed in your room is Jesus, and I mean the Holy Spirit, not a cute boy who pronounces his name "Hey-Zeus."

Callie: So awkward.

Hadley: Watch out for jellyfish.


Callie: I am not getting out of the car unless you promise to stop talking.

Me: Excellent.You stay here and let me see if I can get a refund.

Callie: {Sigh.} I'm getting my luggage.

Then she promised to call me, which she did, about two hours before they got there because her phone was dying. This was the communication I received later that evening:

Incidentally, "GTG" means "Got To Go," not "Gosh That's Great."

Dear Lord: Please keep her safe and make this trip worth the peptic ulcer I am sure to have prior to her return. In Jesus Name, Amen.


Amy Blair said...

PLEASE write a book so that I can laugh out loud for longer periods of time than just when I read your blog entries! ...Seriously...Write a book, Amy Mac! It will be a best-seller, I promise!

Amy Mac said...

Oh, Amy B ... as I have told you before, flattery will get you everywhere with me. Should I ever find the time to write a book, track down an agent, then convince someone to publish it ... by George, you shall get the first copy :-)

Larry Williams said...

It is good to take care of our skin, like what I've read about your sunscreen topic. It is better to prevent any damages.