I am not sure if it's appropriate at the moment to be writing a blog about something that's sailing away when we are in the middle of the horror of the Queensland floods where we hear reports of people in Brisbane watching fridges, pontoons, whole trees and in Grantham, houses, floating along the flood waters. It is a major tragedy which will take communities a long time to recover from.
However, I feel the need to tell you our bob story. Because we were planning to come down to the beach house, I thought it would be nice for Christmas to get Ari a blow up beach toy. Luckily I work with a woman whose husband has a Clark Rubber store, so I asked her to bring in a selection for me. And I chose Bob.. a very strange shaped toy - maybe resembling a sea horse, or a strange seal? But it was orange with pink spots so I thought Ari would like it. We brought it down to the beach house and then faced the problem of blowing it up! I tried with my air, but soon realised it might not get blown up until next Christmas. T tried too. Then we went down to the disposal store and bought a foot pump! T proved an expert at the foot pump and he blew it up quite quickly and it was BIG. Probably bigger than Ari!
So off we go to the beach, T A and me. T rode on it first,it was fine, good fun. Then it was A's turn. I went beside him and he managed fine, because of the shape it was a bit hard to balance, it was sort of seahorse shaped or strangely banana shaped, so he could sit on it quite easily,but the balance was a bit tricky. However, he managed and was floating along quite finely with me walking beside him when VOILA! (Harriet's influence here) he fell off. So of course, my focus was on saving him, which we did quite successfully, alas, while I was busily saving A, the bob decided to float out to the open sea (If you can call the bay open sea) anyway it headed off in the general direction of the city! So with T standing in the shallow water I grabbed A and headed off after the 'bob' as we decided to call it after watching it bob way from us. It was a windy day and the wind blew that bob -remember it was bigger than A, out to sea further and further away. T decided to follow us and pushed his way through chest high water until he came to the sandbank, where I realised the chase was futile. T was distressed! Go and get it Grandma he yelled as it bobbed away into the distance.
We stood and watched, while I gave a little and much unappreciated talk on the Buddhist concept of attachment and learning to let things go. As we walked back to shore we continued to watch the orange and pink bob growing smaller and smaller. Just as we arrived at the beach we saw a motorboat pull up next to our bob and pull it into their boat. Then they motored off in the direction of Sorrento - they did not think to come into shore to see who had lost a bob! They were bob stealers! So we had a discussion about what might happen to the bob, our favoured interpretation was that it would be given to a poor unfortunate child who did not get any Christmas presents. And on that thought and the promise to revisit the disposal store to replace bob with a more practical blow up toy, everyone was happy. I lay on the sand while the boys had a wonderful time on the rocks. The replacement ended up being a most peculiar looking cow which, most importantly, had handles which we could thread a rope through and which I found the next day, made a very comfortable back rest while the boys played, splashed and collected jellyfish.
The moral I think is, don't have floating beach toys that you can't attach a rope too, and, if you do, prepare children who may be involved with a talk on the Buddhist concept of attachment, or non attachment which is more appropriate, and make your first priority the child who falls off rather than the material thing, which can be replaced even if it is with a very strange looking cow.