Monday, July 13, 2009

The back story ...

I know this is a bit late, but here's the story on the Sand Shark. A few weeks ago, my six year old son (who now when I say, "he's six", corrects me by saying, "Six AND A HALF" ...and I were at the beach late in the afternoon after most people had already gone. We were going to make "something" although at the time, we didn't know what that "something" was.

A few yards from where we started digging, we noticed a man intent on completing a large sculpture ... it was a whale roughly 6 feet long and about 4 feet wide. So I suggested that we make a turtle (primarily because I can actually manage to make a turtle out of sand that roughly looks like a turtle).

My son had other ideas. He suggested a shark ... RIIIIGGGHHHHTTTTT. So while discussing the merits of turtle vs. shark ... the man creating the whale says, "Hey, I can get you started on the shark if you want."

"Greeeeaaaattttt, thanks ..." - ---> although by that time, my son was already helping to draw the outline. So the nice man outlined us a shark and helped dig out the trench.

Fast forward 2 hours later, when the whale was finally completed (it's creator long gone), the shark had teeth and a dorsal fin, and a cute little turtle was added to the food chain representation.

Naturally, I did not have my camera - although, I did have my phone and tried repeatedly to call my husband to ask him to bring the camera - but he didn't receive the calls.

So we ran back to the condo (about a 15 minute round trip) - leaving most of our stuff on the beach by the sculptures.

I returned to the beach alone to retrieve the remaining buckets, shovels, etc. and take the pictures while my husband got our son ready for dinner. When I got to the edge of the dunes, I noticed some young boys kicking up some sand ... in a split second and with a sinking feeling in the pit of my stomach, I realized that they were destroying our sculptures.

I yelled, "HEY!!!!!" about 15 yards out - but to no avail ... so by the time I got close enough, the blood vessels had popped out, my face was colored purple with rage, and my hair frizzed with humidity and standing straight out. The boys (there were two of them) finally stopped long enough to stare at the scary looking woman who was shouting at them.

When in my peripheral vision, I noticed a man sitting close by taking pictures of them while they destroyed the sculptures and a woman walking towards the sand from the water. When she got within speaking distance, she said, "Come on boys, let the lady take her little picture". At this point, I was already trying to repair the damage to the shark (the whale had been almost completely obliterated) but they hadn't gotten to the turtle yet (as I said, it had only been 15 minutes).

I looked up (my voice a bit muted with anger) and said, "Do you realize how long it took someone to make these?"

She said, "So?"

I was stunned.

Then she said, "You clearly don't have boys."

I said, "As a matter of fact I do, but yours clearly don't have manners."

Exit stage left.

So I fumed back to the house, annoyed that I didn't have my stupid camera in the first place, annoyed that my husband didn't answer his phone (or hear it), annoyed that I was hot, sweaty, and sandy and didn't have anything to show for it, annoyed that the man taking pictures of the destruction didn't say anything, and annoyed that I was annoyed over something that was beyond my control.

Yes, I get it was a public (or semi public) beach and yes, I understand that a sand sculpture is temporary, and yes, I get that kids don't necessarily have the appreciation or understanding of the time/effort it takes to build a large sand "object", and yes, I get that some people just don't care.

HOWEVER - out of curiosity, I ask, if you're walking on the beach, and you see a sand sculpture - do you destroy it? And if so, why? I'd like to know. Having a bad day? Or better yet, as a parent or guardian of young impressionable children, do you condone purposefully destructive behavior?

To be fair, we've been on the beach, built a sand castle / fortress that took over an hour to make, and played "construction" with my son to bulldoze little pieces of it away. So if you build it, you can take it down. But when someone else builds it, is it a socially acceptable behavior to destroy it without their invitation to do so? Really?

I can see both sides of this, but it still seems a bit like vandalism of public property to me. I guess that's why they call it freedom of speech.

I've posted more pictures - some from the phone so a little blurry and one with half the whale gone.

How does this relate to Life being like a box of Legos? Well, I'd have to say that sometimes your legos get trampled.

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JO said...

I would be furious too like you. But on the other hand, if my son would see that, I'm sure he "may" destroy it out of curiosity and not intentionally.

Those are really nice. I could never make anything from sand. I don't have the patience and time.

Lesson of the day: Always bring your camera with you! I do!


BK said...

Frankly speaking I wouldn't do it; I would be taking photos too. It just doesn't seem right to destroy the effort of others and there really isn't any point to destroy something which we should appreciate.

Then again, being boys, I don't know how old they are, they could be pretty destructive and mischievous. But I am shock by the reply of the lady when you were asking her if she knew how long it took someone to make those.

Karen said...

I could understand a small child wanting to destroy the sculpture but those aged boys were clearly being mean. I would have scolded them if they had been my children. It is all about respect. Clearly, they lack respect. Their mother missed a chance to teach them something.

Vixen said...

I do personally find it destruction if kids tear down something they did not build. When the kids were little if it had occurred to them to destroy someonelses work (which I don't think it ever did, so I must have been putting off that vibe), I would have definitely stopped them immediately.

No respect, I tell you. Kids these days have no respect for other's property, thoughts, or space.

Karen said...

How are things going? Haven't seen you post for a while now.