7:30 a.m. On the beach in Chicago. Perfect start to a day! And that doesn’t even take into account all the gorgeous bodies, what?! I mean professional beach volleyball games going on! It was only 80 degrees and lovely out! Sun low in the sky still, slight breeze, kinda humid. My gorgeous professional beach volleyball playing niece (did I not tell you I have a pro-athlete relative?) was playing on Court 2 and won that match, thank-you-very-much.
“In the gallery” with us were my sister-in-law, and my niece’s fiancee – a scout for the Cubs – part of Theo Epstein’s team (I have to impress you with my relatives since I have no claim to fame of my own!). My sis-in-law and I were having a lovely chat, her schooling me on all things beach volleyball when I hear my name called.
I recognize the voice. And I recognize the tone. Something is wrong.
I turn to look at Tom and Natalie has collapsed in his arms. Mother-panic sets in and I take over, easing her down to the sand, telling the guys to fix her legs so I don’t accidentally dislocate a knee or something because she is totally out and on rubber leg street. I am quite panicked tho… As I don’t like going through this stuff with her at all. Surprising, I know. You’d think by now all this medical drama with Natalie would be just, wait for it…. a day at the beach. Get it? Haha!
After going this way and then that, trying to figure out the best direction, I get her down in the sand on her side so she doesn’t choke on her own saliva, and scan her to figure out what is going on. She is a bit trembly, so maybe a seizure? I don’t know. As I tell my kids, I am not really a doctor, although it is fun to pretend.
Natalie sure knows how to get five star treatment! (I have to keep her methods in mind when I want better service some time.) Pretty soon a tournament medic comes over and starts calling for a beach umbrella, a doc, a towel, etc. and I am thinking, wow I’m glad this happened at an event and not just when we were hanging out down here by ourselves!! Pretty soon we have the medic, an M.D. and his assistant, a beach umbrella, a Gatorade towel (gotta love those sponsors), a guy with a water bottle, a guy with an air conditioned golf cart ready to take us wherever we need to go.
After a handful of minutes, Natalie’s eyes start to open. She is obviously confused and still pretty out of it. We laid there on the sand for another ten minutes (or 2 minutes, maybe depending on if you are me or not?) before she was ready to sit up.
Another guy shows up to tell us how Tom can get the car off LSD (Lake Shore Drive for you non-Chicagoans, get your mind off illegal drugs!) and onto the beach to pick us up. Tom runs for the car (poor guy – everything all urgent-like and he has to cross Michigan Avenue, run up a parking garage, drive back, etc. AND not have a heart attack)!
Natalie walks (yay!) and we climb into the golf cart where a very tanned guy with a SoCal accent engages us in light-hearted (thank you!) conversation while he carefully avoids all the joggers on the lakefront path and takes us to where Tom will have the car.
We knew Natalie was much better when she started complaining about the sand on her legs in the car on the way home. Even more so when she made some proclamations:
- do not ever go outside if it isn’t necessary!
- never, ever go outside if the heat is over 40 degrees!
- we are not moving to Alaska, it is too hot there!
We brought up the fact that 40 was cold and she scolded, “No it is not! It is very hot!” Clearly, she was speaking in Celsius, which surprises me because we are SO Fahrenheit over here. But 40 C. IS 104 in our language, so she is right, 40 is quite hot!!
Now that we’ve been home for a few hours she can tell me that she started feeling so so tired before she “felt weird” – not sure what that means. I’ll get out all my medical books and come up with some errant theory.
Tom and I were invited to be on a big sailboat tonight (that’s clearly the amateur name for it, but what do I know… Sure it is forty feet long or something, but it has sails, so “sailboat,” right? I don’t know from schooner, etc.) We were going out on Lake Michigan with a friend of his from work, for dinner and fireworks. (Hmmm… I bet Seth somehow engineered this whole thing so HE could be on the boat and I would be home with Natalie instead of vice versa. Time to go short sheet his bed; maybe I will think of something even better once I look around his room… )
And what, you ask, does all this have to do with Tequila on the Beach? Coulda used a shot right back there. But now works too. Cheers!