We got back from the Jersey shore last night at about 10:30 p.m. (stayed there for mass). Joe was off to Boy Scout camp early this morning and already our trip seems ages away.
I am treasuring some beach memories, though, like:
- Daniel and Joseph wrestling in the ocean with their cousin. I'm talking about pushing, pulling, holding down, throwing, etc. in (and under) the waves. I outlawed sand throwing, but they were happy with all the other "rough stuff". I haven't seen them play that way before, but all three had a great time wearing themselves out.
- My cousin orchestrated the construction of a sand castle with many fancy decorations (pebbles, shells) while I dozed in a chair.
- Holding Becca's hands while she leapt and squealed in the water. She spent most of her time digging, digging, digging. I enjoyed watching her focused activity.
- Watching Marianna play with Becca in the waves (at four, Rebecca doesn't even go to her waist without a partner) and sand before inevitably spending time with a new kid. That girl is so outgoing and people-oriented!
- We girls went out for ice cream while the boys were at a card tournament. Afterwards we walked to the playground. Rebecca is learning to pump on a swing, and my cousin's adorable Havanese learned to climb a plastic "hill". Then she played crazy-run-around-in-circles-chase-me-chase-me-you-can't-catch-me doggie--it was hilarious!
- There were fireflies out most evenings. Next to the playground the girls chased them on a broad lawn interspersed with a few trees and backed by greenery; it looked like a fairyland.
- With rip tides a danger, we had two days when the life guards wouldn't allow people into the water past about mid-thigh. On Saturday when the beach was crowded, the guards (at least four on our section of waterfront) were frequently whistling and gesturing to bring people closer in or move them further away from the currents. Sometimes they had to climb down from their tall stands and herd the crowd like so many sheep. What a tough job that must be, keeping so many safe, especially in rough water!
- My cousin's husband often works from home, so he's been at the beach (instead of in SC) most of the summer. He spends much of his time on the phone and the computer, but we had some nice chats, too. He's awesome at "uncling" as well (although my big kids insist he's actually a "first-cousin-once-removed-in-law")--telling stories, taking the boys out, and making games out of chores. (Yes, there was some jostling to see who would "get" to clean off the surf board...) What a treat it was to have him there!
- My cousin and I usually bob waves and enjoy girl-talk, but we didn't get to it until the last day, so we couldn't go out far. Chatting in the ocean, even in a crowd, is made private by all the wave noise.
I hope you're making some special memories this summer.