Oh, it's so good to be back at the lake...
We can hear the waves lapping down at the bottom of the garden, the flowers are all in fragrant bloom, and there are riots of birds and butterflies everywhere you look...
No sooner had we arrived and thrown the contents of the loser cruiser into the front hallway, the girlies demanded to hit the beach. We found the bathing suits and towels, grabbed the sand toys, and headed out into the beautiful afternoon sunshine.
The girls frolicked in the water for awhile, and then with my help, proceeded to create an enormous and amazingly beautiful sand castle. We used the "dribble technique" that my father had taught me when I was a child (you get a bucket of sand-and-water, then "dribble" the wet mixture out of your hand to form an eerie-looking, asymmetrical sort of structure. Think of candle wax melting down the side of a candle...), and the whole thing looked like something out of a Gothic novel when we were finally finished, some two hours later.
The two older girlies immediately went back into the water to cool down and wash off the layers of sand sticking to their skin and swimsuits, and Child Number Three and I were left to guard and admire the castle.
Child Number Three walked around and around the structure, looking at it from every angle, and shaking her head solemnly. Soon, she was muttering, "Oh, dear... Oh, dear, dear... Oh, no...", and I couldn't help asking her what on earth was the matter.
She turned to face me with an anguished expression.
"Mummy... Oh, dear... Because, I just HAVE TO... SMUSH IT!!!" she squealed at the top of her lungs, while at the same time, taking a running-leap and sailing feet-first through the air, into the main section of turrets.
The rapidly-drying sand didn't stand a chance against The Attacker. Within a matter of seconds, she had flattened the entire castle, and was happily wiggling like a large worm on the damp remains.
Luckily, her older sisters were like-minded, and they each took turns schmucking the remainder of the sand-pile with their feet, accompanied by bloodcurdling shrieks of "COWABUNGAAAA!!"
It took a LOOONG time in the shower to get those kids relatively sand-free and calmed down enough to have their suppers and get into bed. But, once they were all asleep and I was snuggled into a quilt out on the deck, wine in hand, watching the sun set over the water... I just couldn't help thinking how lucky I am to be able to do this with them, all over again, tomorrow.