We have a lovely Sunday at the beach. My parents have a seasonal camping spot at the beach and so we went up to spend the day with them. It was nice to see how much easier it is finally starting to get and we can actually see the light at the end of the tunnel.
You parents will know what I mean. Last year we had to dog O's every steps because he didn't want to stay with us. That meant keeping a tight reign on the girls too because what they do, he wants to do. This year we were able to let him wander about the site, one eye on him still but this time from our chairs. We didn't have to constantly follow him around as he explored the entire campground. We did NOT have to stick him in a playpen and listen to him cry for 20 minutes just so we could get lunch put out.
What we did do was enjoy watching him explore the tide pools, pick up crabs, be scared for some strange reason of seaweed and proceed to fall into the tide pool, bottom first (thank goodness) and just generally have a good time. For once us grownups were able to sit down on rocks around the tide pool and converse while the children explored, occasionally bringing some aspect of exciting sea life to our attention.
We found a poor little fish that had gotten stranded in a tide pool which had dried up. It was, of course, dead but E had to carry it in a clam shell all the way down to the water to set the poor fishy free. She harbored hopes that the poor little fish would revive once it was in the water again. No such luck. By the time she walked back to us with her Nana, I had asked her if he swam away and she said with that blunt honesty that all children possess: "no mom, he's dead. Some other fish is going to eat him." My her recovery was astonishing. From sadness to practicality in 15 seconds.
E at first bored because we didn't bring any craft stuff to do, soon found a small grove of trees beside our camp site and began to set up house. O toddled happily over and together they made flower and grass soup to serve us. Once her house was all in order, we were invited for supper and dessert. It was lovely to see them all play together so well and O was perhaps happiest running up and down a small grassy slope.
It was the most relaxing day at the beach that we have EVER had. And we were smart, we well armed ourselves with 50 SPF sunscreen and so none of us burned at all.
UNLIKE my poor parents who the day before got scorched because they hadn't bought any sunscreen yet so the entire time we were out there, they were covered from head to toe in long sleeve shirts, socks and pants. You kind of have to laugh because they who took such good care of us, forget to take care of themselves.