The Beach Day
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“The Beach Day,” Friend, Aug.–Sept. 1985, 18

The Beach Day

As soon as Samantha opened her eyes, she knew what day it was. She ran to the kitchen in her pajamas. “OK, Mom,” she said. “Let’s go to the beach. I’m ready.”

Her mom laughed when she saw Samantha. “You may feel ready,” she said, “but you don’t look ready. You’d better get dressed first and have some breakfast. Then we can get ready to go to the beach.”

Samantha ran upstairs, hopped out of her pajamas, jumped into her clothes, and skipped back downstairs again.

“Settle down,” said her mom. “You can’t eat properly when you’re a jumping bean.”

Samantha tried to drink her juice and eat her cereal slowly. She even tried to butter her toast slowly. But she was too excited.

After breakfast Samantha washed her face, brushed her teeth, and combed her hair. “Now can we go?” she asked.

“Pretty soon,” said her mom. “But first we have to decide what to take with us.”

“I know what to take,” said Samantha. She ran to her room and came back with a red bucket, a yellow spade, a swimsuit, a towel, and a beach ball. “OK,” Samantha said. “Let’s go.”

“What about lunch?” asked Mom with a smile.

“Oh,” said Samantha. “I forgot.”

They made the lunch together. Samantha washed carrots and celery, and her mom cut them up. Samantha made her favorite sandwich—peanut butter, lettuce, and tomato. Mom made some egg salad sandwiches.

They got the cooler and put the sandwiches inside with the vegetables, some fruit, and homemade cookies. Then they put ice packs on top, and Samantha shut the lid and fastened it. “Wow!” she said. “It’s cold in there now.”

“It has to be cold,” Mom explained, “or the food will spoil.”

They filled a thermos with milk, then took everything out to the car. The outside air was still cool, but Samantha knew that soon it would be very, very hot. She hopped up and down. “Come on, Mom,” she said. “Come on.”

“Samantha,” said Mom, “I want to go to the beach, too, but it’s important not to forget anything. Our day will be much more enjoyable if we prepare well. Preparation is important in just about everything we do. Now, there are still some things we need to take. Think how hot it will be. We can’t put ourselves in the cooler. But we can make our own shade.”

“The beach umbrella!” shouted Samantha.

“Right!” said Mom. “And we need little beach umbrellas for our heads.”

“Sun hats!” cried Samantha.

“Right!” said Mom again. “And when we’re in the sun, we need something creamy and smooth to spread on our skin so that the sun won’t burn us.”

“Suntan lotion!” shouted Samantha.

“You remembered!” said Mom. “And we need something for our feet in case there are sharp stones or glass on the beach.”

“Beach shoes!” shouted Samantha.

“You’re very smart,” said Mom.

They gathered all those things and put them into the car along with Mom’s bathing suit, beach coat, sunglasses, and a book. Mom also got extra towels, a change of clothes for Samantha, and a big blanket. Just before shutting the door, Mom called, “Let’s get going, Samantha.”

But Samantha didn’t answer.

Puzzled, Mom called again. Then she heard a giggle. Samantha was already in the car, waiting for her!

Illustrated by Dick Brown