Today I had to take my daughter to a birthday beach party being thrown by her 11 year old classmate. I was kind of not looking forward to it for a few reasons. For one, I had dragged the kids to hell and back yesterday and sort of wanted Sunday to myself. And secondly, my bathing suits and I are not on speaking terms yet, and the thought of parading around in my gigantic old lady swim dress in front of hoards of people I’ve never met was not particularly appealing to me.

Yet, my bright side took over and accentuated the positives. It’s a beautiful day, and I could be doing far worse on a Sunday afternoon than sitting in a beach chair reading a book while my child has a rip-roarin’ time in the lake. So, tossing my bathing suit aside, I put on some shorts and a cover up and headed to the designated beach.

We were among the first to arrive, and I set up my chair and got ready to read. But I never even got to crack open my book. Right away the birthday boy’s mom and her friend engaged me in conversation and put me right at ease. I was asked if I wanted to come up to the coolers to get a drink. Sure, my whistle could use some wetting.

The mom told us how she had water and lemonade in this cooler, and the adult drinks were in that other cooler. Huh? What? Adult drinks? At a kid’s party? Hell yes…my kind of people. The moms and I quickly popped open a can of Stella Artois into red Silo cups and headed back the our beach chairs.

The sun was hot and the kids were playing and I had a cold, imported beer in my cup. This day was looking up. Though the moms quickly abandoned me, I really didn’t mind. They were old friends whereas I was a newbie and more guests were arriving. I was happy to soak up the sun and watch the kids play.

It wound up being a great day. I had a few beers, ate a couple of hot dogs and got to talk to a few parents, one of which I adored, and exchanged numbers with. I also wound up getting wet, but for a very heroic cause.

One of the inner tubes got blown away by a gust of wind and landed in the lake past the ropes. I quickly walked over, threw my sunglasses on the dock and jumped in to save the straying flotation device. My mad breast stroke was no match to the wind and current, and before you knew it, I had snagged the tube. However, while I was swimming back towing the very large inner tube, I realized how hard my heart was beating.

Hmmmm. Yeah, I didn’t want to wear a bathing suit, which pretty much means I’ve put on a few pounds over the winter. A few more pounds to be totally frank. And here I am playing life saver to a fucking inner tube. As I tried to paddle to shore I wondered if 911 dispatch knew how to get to beach #4 at Lake Monticello.

There were at least two more times that one of those damn inner tubes jumped the rope and tried to escape. But I let them float away while others swam after them. And you know what? Every parent that had to swim after it came back huffing and puffing, so I didn’t feel so bad.

When we left I had an invite from the birthday boy’s mom to come to taco night and had exchanged phone numbers with another set of parents. Here I began the morning dreading putting on a bathing suit, but all in all, it wound up being a pretty good day.

Once again the powers that be taught me to shut up, smile and let the day unfold.