It’s Black Friday. The husband and B-I-L are out shopping. Time and tide wait for none, so the rest of us head out to the tide pools. Tidepools are shallow pockets where water is trapped during low tides, forming small pools that provide habitat for numerous plants, invertebrates, and fish. They are a great place for children (and adults) to explore, experience, and learn. During the summer months the pools covered by high tides during the day. Late fall through winter are considered the best times to visit. We have time our visit to coincide with the low tide, as have a million others. The is a mile-long line of cars on the road leading up to the parking lot of the Cabrillo National Monument’s tidepools. This is one of the best-protected and most easily accessible rocky inter-tidal zones in southern California. Since access to the pools is time bound, the older ones and I get out and walk. The LO has no choice but to come with her aunt later. I have no clue how we are going to find them or get back home, because there is cell phone signal here.
The kids have been here before. They are excited to scramble over the rocks, wade into the water and point out sea life to me. Akash shows me a sea anemone “eating” his finger. Lara is thrilled. I, on the other hand, have grown old. A more concerned about keeping my shoes dry than getting my feet wet. I’m afraid someone’s going to cut their feet or fall or hurt themselves badly over the rocks. The National Parks website warns – a child’s enthusiasm and excitement over being in this natural wonderland can quickly translate into a slip or tumble. As a child, I’ve done worse, but as a mother I can’t take my eyes off them, and they are both going in opposite directions.
The kids spot their mother. When we reach her, a Ranger comes to warn everyone that it is almost closing time. Our car is parked at the top, near the lighthouse. The sister volunteers to go get it while the rest of our motley crew waits in the parking lot by the pools. We reach home wet, tired and happy.