Dry it in the Water Makes More Sense After you Learn It

One of us has a new blog and like “they” always say, it’s not you, it’s me. So welcome to my new (emphasis on "new" there, since this ain't my first rodeo, bloggishly-speaking) blog, Dry it in the Water.

Words of wisdom are priceless, so I’m looking forward to sharing some things that I’ve learned, both as a person and as a parent. Not that parents aren’t people and vice versa.

Oh, wait a minute, I’m confusing words of wisdom with the Mona Lisa. It’s the Mona Lisa that’s priceless. Words of wisdom are sometimes annoying, often self-serving, and usually unwelcome. But still, they’re offered up non-stop as if they’re worth something, so I might as well add my voice to the crowd. (And by the way, given a good set of watercolors, I’m pretty sure I could do better than the Mona Lisa as well.)

If you can’t figure out what Dry it in the Water means, don’t worry, you’re not alone. It’s the name of my blog and I’m not entirely sure I know what it means. But, since every blog needs a story, here’s the story of this here blog.

Rewind to a few weeks ago, when we still had hopes of having an actual summer, and not this upper-70s, low-80s, half-hearted attempt at summer. I was swimming at the beach with my family—because nothing says summer more than wading into 55-degree water and freezing my ass off, while becoming Mr. Hyde if someone splashes so much as a drop of that shrinkage-inducing water on my still-warm upper body—when my youngest daughter, Girl’10 (her gender and year of birth, FYI), started complaining about her feet being too sandy. After trying to explain to her that people quite often end up with sandy feet when they go to a beach with trillions of grains of sand, I suggested that she put her feet in the lake to rinse them. So she did.

The water did its trick and washed the sand right off. (Good thing she couldn’t see the countless bits of God-knows-what that probably attached to her feet courtesy of Lake Michigan.) Another problem quickly arose when she discovered that although her feet no longer had sand on them, they were wet.
Now, wet feet at a beach might not seem like a big deal to you, but to Girl’10 there are few things more repulsive than wetness. I subscribe to the paper-towels-are-the-Devil theory, and I’ve been successful in brainwashing my two sons to believe the same. But Girl’10 apparently doesn’t fall for cultish ideas and refuses to see the light. God forbid I have even a drop of water remaining on my hands after washing them and wiping them on my pants to dry. If I try to hold her hand, Girl’10 will admonish me, “Daddy, your hands are still wet,” and then pull her hand away faster than Teddy Duchamp’s ear. (I know I’m stretching it with that reference, but look it up.) Then I have to not only dry my hands, but make sure to get the four drops of water off of her hand.

So to her, wet feet at the beach are a beach. My wife, in her ability to somehow instantly cure whatever ails any one of our children, suggests that Girl’10 dry her feet with a towel. This sounds like a perfectly reasonable suggestion to me, in spite of the fact that she’s going to have sandy feet again a few minutes later and the process might begin anew. Girl’10 had other plans though. Instead of drying her feet with the towel, she says, “No, momma, I’ll just go dry them in the water.”
Girl’10 goes to the water, dips her feet in, comes back, and is perfectly content.

That’s bizarre enough, but shortly thereafter she wants to clean her sand toys, so she tells us, “I’m going to go dry these in the water,” and toddles away, while singing a little diddy, “Dry it in the Water,” which is sung to a song I’d never heard of until my wife told me about it, “Mermaid” by Train. Dry it in the Water has been in her repertoire ever since.

Of course, being a thinking adult with a rudimentary understanding of chemistry and thermodynamics, I had no idea I could dry anything in the water. But now I know. And so do you.

Those are the kinds of things I learn.

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