Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Torch Lake Sand Bar 7/4/12

Today we boated down the lake midday to check out the action at the Torch Lake Sand Bar 2012 Fourth of July party. (Un)fortunately by the time we got there just after 2, all the walk in spots were taken. Driving down a boat-lined alleyway, we parked with a good 100 meters to swim before we reached the outer edge of chest-deep walkability. So taking the camera inside the party was out of the question.

Son, Cousin and friend were set loose together to visit the mayhem without parental supervision. This would be their first unchaperoned foray into the crowd. (In past years they received a guided tour from one of the adults.) I set out and quickly found myself fearing that they might never find their way back because of the throngs. I even made a point of flirting with a hot young thing in a pink bikini so I'd remember where to find the boat when I made my way back.

In the shallows of the sand bar the crowd had become a singular mass of young, sun-burned studs, cute girls with string bikinis and breast enhancements, and old ogling men hoping to catch a piece of the action. Beer pong, cops and dancing abounded. Yes, there were a few children and sight-seeing older women like myself. We walked through the crowd to witness the display of holiday revelry and drunken celebration. Returning to our boats before we got sunburned to share our amazement of the spectacle.

Perhaps we'll see an ariel photo posted on Instagram tomorrow, though to think of it, I did not see a plane fly over. Only a photo could possibly convey the sheer size of this tradition.

My kids are growing so fast. Overnight they transformed from little kid to teenager. I talk to them about courtship and the hunt for sex. I try to school them about the dance of man and woman. And how to know if you are drinking too much. (Remember that girl near the speakers who threw up into the water? That is past being too drunk. One rule: never, ever, ever throw up in public.)

In different circumstances I've given them statistics of the risks of young drinking, hoping they will heed my warning and see it supported by their observations of alcoholic relatives and today's sights.
One day soon, terribly soon, the boys, and later the girls, will want to take the boat down by themselves and perhaps have us join the grandparents in the shade, left behind to watch from the shore.

I work as hard as I can keeping up with them and safely meeting their needs for independence and thrills. Today I did not stop Son from jumping off the roof. Instead I ran for my camera to capture their rush at 20 frames per second. For today I'll be happy that my children, though acting like they don't want to be seen with me, are still in the same boat, taking the journey together.