I don't believe in omens. But the migraine I had this 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 watch the Big Bay Boom fireworks show from the helicopter hangars along the seawall on San Diego Bay. Year after year, it's a can't-miss fantastic holiday.
This year we brought a little grill and chicken wings and smores to tailgate with afterward, so we wouldn't have to sit in two hours of traffic to get off the island.
Thanks to the headache today, we got a pretty late start. And the beach was pretty cold. But 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 cell phone. As a very cold wave washed toward her feet, she began to back up. Very quickly. I saw she was making a beeline for my daughter. I could see what was going to happen, but there was no way I could stop it.
The very, very large lady tripped over my Mary, sat down hard right on her, squashing her flat, then fell backwards spread-eagle on the sand with a big thud.
The woman's phone went flying onto wet sand, and 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.
It was a mess. They both ended up okay. I wrapped Mary 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. Didn't know it, in fact, until she got up again and we saw the items lying in a puddle of water in the folding chair.
Glasses and key fob spared. Phone is now a paperweight.
I'd forgotten a lighter to light the grill for our hotdogs, but we finally borrowed some matches from some kind folks. A lot of matches, actually, as it was cold and windy.
Made it over to the seawall and settled in to watch fireworks. We were at the perfect point to see three barges surrounding us, all set to fire simultaneous shows. It began with a crazy huge one-minute inferno. 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, it was time to clear the area. Began flashing his lights.
I didn't know if the little grill was kosher on base, so I told Jamie, "I'm gonna make these smores right now before the popo shuts us down."
So Jamie 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 repeated excitedly, "He's gonna arrest us! Oh no, he's gonna arrest us!"
"Hush, Mary! Shhh! Stop it!"
Jamie sat in his little folding chair with the chicken in his hands and the fire dying to coals and the MP told him we needed to pack up and get going . Jamie pointed out there was two hours of traffic jam to sit in before getting off the island. The MP said he understood, and just to leave when we could. Then left.
Jamie leaned to me, "Popo not shuttin' US down."
We ate our wings, then began to pack up the car. We'd been listening to the radio, like most of the cars tailgating.
But we should have heeded the omens.
Battery was dead.
One other family was left, fishing further down the seawall, and they were happy to give us a jump.
Jamie accidentally let the 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 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 everyone up. I said there was a roadblock. Of course. He rolled his eyes and said this was the worst Fourth of July ever.
My daughter pipes up, "No, this was the best Fourth of July ever!"
I couldn't stop myself.
"What? What was the best part? When the fat lady fell on you?"
And then I laughed myself to tears. And the kids all laughed in bed.
Then I kissed Mary goodnight, and as she closed her eyes, she told me, "The best part was the smores."