This is what my grandson said last week when we were having a beach fire with s’mores: “we’re having a little party.”
And we were too. We had a little party with some fried chicken, fruit, sangria and dump trucks. We built a sand castle and as the sun went down and the fire grew warm, we watched the waves slowly come in and wash the castle back into the beach. It was a perfect evening and a great start to a new time in our lives.
Owen has a new fascination with the beach after earlier that day when he learned it was fun to walk in the water and as long as he kept an eye on the waves, they wouldn’t overtake him. We walked the entire of East Beach to Leadbetter beach with our legs getting wet all the way up to our thighs. He got braver and braver.
At one point, Rebecca showed him a strand of sea kelp, which is does not like and would not touch, and he giggled and turned to run away from it. Two big leaps into the ocean and a wave pushed him over. It was horrifying to see those curls go into the ocean but his mama scooped him up with one arm and wrapped him in her jacket with the other. He sputtered a bit – the salt water an even greater surprise. He wrapped himself around her tight and they talked about it a bit and she convinced him to walk again in the water and feel the waves and sand, so he wouldn’t be scared.
He was in absolutely no real danger – there were three of us watching him – all within a couple of feet of his tiny frame, but he was sure to tell everyone that mama saved him and he could have been eaten by a shark. Owen has a beautiful imagination built on healthy play and good books.
When we got him in the car and wrapped him up warm, he fell asleep on the way home.
Holding his mom’s hand.
Our day started with walking the dogs on Ellwood – giving them plenty of exercise and a view of the ocean even if we didn’t go down to the actual beach. We have yet to show them the ocean and are not sure how they will react.
These are the pictures of strength and grace I wanted most to share. Watching my girls handle this move together and support each other emotionally and physically has moved me to tears at time. Happy tears.
Seeing Rebecca’s sheer mama-power has been breathtaking.
She has been through so much. She has saved so many lives – human and four-legged. She has kept her family safe and warm and fed. Now, it’s our turn to help her.
So we eat blueberries at the beach.
We watch Stinky and Dirty (a surprisingly good quality cartoon) on a couch that has dog fur on it now.
We visit historic train sets (so glad to finally visit this – we were waiting for Owen).
We watch the garbage trucks (truth be told, those things have fascinated me since I moved here).
And we go to parks on Mother’s Day.
We named this one ‘castle park’ because ‘park across from Alice Keck’ just doesn’t work for little kids. Owen likes to name his parks by the color of the slides, so we’ll have to see how many of the parks around town we can re-name. I’m thinking Tucker’s Grove might keep it’s name but we’ll see.
All in all, it’s perfect. I thought it would be harder than it has been. I am thrilled to see Owen and his Pop-pop learning about each other and trusting. To see Owen climb into his Pop-pop’s lap and curl up because he was sleepy was a sweet moment. Greeting his bright and happy face as he comes bursting out of his room for breakfast is a simple treat every day. Watching my daughter’s stress wash off, seeing her stand taller and smile more, enjoying her curl up with a book are all meaningful moments for me and I wouldn’t trade this time in my life for anything.