My little family never misses Sculpture By the Sea. It’s non-negotiable. Must do.
We had it on the calendar to go during the first of two weeks this year, but kept having to push it back because … music class … grocery store … sailing … I don’t know, just generally being very popular and in demand. We were wide open and completely unpopular this week, But, then it started to rain. And, it rained all the rain until there was mo more rain. After four days, it cleared sometime between last night’s thunderstorm and breakfast this morning.
We set out this afternoon, feeling very Pollyanna about the whole thing, even though the skies could have been bluer, if we’re being completely honest. We didn’t arrive at Bondi Beach, so much as we ran into this wall…
…which, you know, doesn’t exactly bode well for a fun family day by the seaside. But, we had come all this way…
So, I guess you could say that I was the one who made us proceed. (“We have come all this way.”) Hushpuppy, who for the first time, is old enough to walk on her own, was gleeful about us counting together all the stairs we had to walk down to get to the path. 63, if you’re curious.
We joined the throngs and masses of weather blind souls, and trotted along to ultimately see approximately five sculptures.
This is Hushpuppy’s rain dance. It worked.
About 14 minutes after arriving (and walking down 63 steps and up about 72 more), the skies opened – as you would probably expect from that rain cloud we so haughtily breezed past – and we went running for the car.
Thoroughly drenched, we then had the harrowing job of driving right back home in a sheet of rain. By we, I mean, Partner-in-Crime did. He was a champion.
Somewhere along the way, we made a wrong turn – nothing to do with P-i-C, but because we couldn’t hear the GPS over the pounding rain, and so between the horrendous road conditions and our ever so slight detour, the drive home that should have taken 30 minutes lasted one and one half hours. We felt every minute.
We were all wet, impatient, and disappointed, and none of us was more consistently vocal with our feelings as the toddler contingent in the backseat.
She wailed with abandon.
She asked to be let out of her car seat.
She wanted her Band-Aid off.
She was tortured mercilessly by the sudden pain of a never before noticed week-old bruise on her knee.
She wanted her window wiped.
She wanted her shoes off.
She wanted to see a train.
Not that train.
She growled. She literally growled.
She wanted a snuggle.
She wanted a granola bar.
She wanted Dad to give her a granola bar.
I’ll tell it to you straight. At some point 50 or 70 minutes into the trip, we cranked the radio up to tune out this barrage. Not that we could find anything we wanted to hear. But, we weren’t really listening, anyway.
Then, I noticed that “The Wind Beneath My Wings” had come on, and I was just about to turn the station when I realized that my kid had not only stopped crying, but was singing along. She’s never heard “The Wind Beneath My Effing Wings” before, but I guess if you think about it, aren’t we all just pretty much born knowing it?
That was the most peaceful three minutes of the day. You, Better Midler, are the wind beneath my wings.
We sailed home from there (no we didn’t, but doesn’t it make a better story that we were just spiritually lifted up by the Divine Miss M?). By the time we got changed and I had dinner on the table … scratch that … By the time we got changed, I had a glass of wine, and had dinner on the table, the sun was shining again. I was silently thinking of whether I’d drag Hushpuppy out first thing in the morning on the bus to tackle another round of Sculpture By the Sea on closing weekend. I was really bummed to miss it.