I don't believe in omens. But the migraine I had yesterday morning might make me a believer.
We love the fourth of July, and we especially love it in San Diego. We drive to Coronado and spend the day at the beach, and then we watch the Big Bay Boom fireworks show from behind the helicopter hangars along the seawall on San Diego Bay. Year after year, it's a can't-miss fantastic holiday.
Thanks to the headache today, we got a much later start than we planned. And while July is never really a hot month here, the beach was actually pretty cold. We always bring fleece jackets with us, so the kids played anyway.
Now that I think about it, if the migraine hadn't been an omen, what happened next might've been.
My 6-year-old was crawling along the surf, digging, on her hands and knees. I stood holding the baby while watching dolphins jumping just offshore. A very large lady stood several yards in front of me taking pictures of the dolphins with her iphone. As a large, cold wave washed toward her feet, she began to back up. Very quickly. I saw she was making a backwards beeline for my daughter. I could see what was going to happen, but there was no way I could stop it.
The very large lady tripped over my daughter, waved her arms out at her sides, trying to recover, and then sat down, hard, right on top of her. My daughter was flattened onto her stomach, pinned for a couple of seconds, until the lady fell backwards, with a wet thud, spread-eagle on the sand, arms flung wide, feet in the air.
The poor woman was stunned. Her iphone went flying onto wet sand, so I picked it up quickly to save it, as the woman was not making any move to get up. My daughter scrambled out from under the woman's legs, and ran to hide behind me, wailing in shock, and probably pain.
I gave her the phone, asking if she was okay. The woman took a long time to get up, so her family came to help her.
No one asked about my daughter, who was still crying. I wrapped her in a blanket and made her sit down to calm herself.
I did not see that she sat right on my husband's key fob, sunglasses, and cell phone. I didn't know, in fact, until she got up again and we saw the items lying in a puddle of water in the folding chair.
The glasses and key fob were spared. The phone was dead forever..
When everyone was hungry, we realized we'd forgotten a lighter to light the grill for our hotdogs. We had to beg to borrow some matches from some kind folks nearby. A lot of matches, actually, as it was cold and windy.
By nightfall, we'd finally made it over to the seawall behind the hangars known as the double-domes, and settled in to watch fireworks. We set up to tailgate with chicken wings and smores over our little grill, planning to stay late rather than sit in traffic after the show. We were tailgating at the perfect point to see three barges in San Diego Bay, surrounding us, all set to fire simultaneous shows coordinated with music playing on a local radio station
It began with a crazy huge inferno for just over ten seconds, which we watched with our mouths open. Then there was nothing. All the families along the seawall waited. We speculated. Jamie's grill went out and his wings got cold, so he put more coals on.
Then an MP drove by with a loudspeaker, saying that there were no more fireworks, and it was time to clear the area. He began flashing his lights.
I didn't know if the little grill was kosher on base, so I told my husband, "I'm gonna make these smores right now before the po-po shuts us down."
So my husband held a rack of half-cooked chicken wings in his hands while I made smores for everyone.
The MP got out of his car and walked over to us. Mary exclaimed excitedly, "He's gonna arrest us! Oooooh no, he's gonna arrest us!"
"Hush, Mary! Shhh! Stop it!" I hissed.
My husband sat in his little folding chair with the chicken balanced on his hands and the fire dying to coals at his feet, and looked up as the MP told him we needed to pack up and get going . My husband pointed out that there was two hours of traffic jam to sit in before even getting off the island. The MP said he understood, and just to leave when we could. Then he left.
Husband leaned to me, "Po-po not shuttin' US down."
We ate our wings, then began to pack up the car.
We'd been listening to the radio the whole time, like most of the cars tailgating, hoping to find out what had happened to the show.
But we should have heeded the omens.
Our car battery was dead.
Fortunately, there was one other family left, fishing further down the seawall, and they were happy to give us a jump.
My husband accidentally let the jumper cables' clamps touch, and sparks flew. The helpful stranger said, "Wow, that's a better show than we had tonight!"
We finally got loaded and left, only to make a u-turn ten minutes later to go back and search for my phone, in the dark.
On the way home, the main road to our neighborhood was closed by police, and we had to take a dirt road detour.
As I put the kids to bed, my son asked why we took the "bumpy road," which woke up everyone in the car. I said there was a roadblock.
"Of course." He rolled his eyes. "This was the worst Fourth of July ever."
My daughter piped up, "No, this was the best Fourth of July ever!"
I'm not proud now, but I couldn't stop myself from snapping.
"What!? What was the best part!? When the fat lady fell on you?"
Her eyes grew wide. And then I started laughing. Uncontrollably, until tears rolled down my nose. And the kids all laughed in their beds.
When the laughter finally subsided, I kissed my daughter goodnight, and as she closed her eyes, she told me, "The best part was the smores."