I promised my three-year-old niece that this would be the title of my next post. And who could argue with such a cute little girl? Not this auntie, that’s for sure.
Today I’m recovering from a mini-vacay, wedding-weekend, long-a** drive through two horrendous down pours with an overtired toddler hang over. We just returned from Pawley’s Island/Murrell’s Inlet, SC for the hubby’s baby sister’s wedding.
We left last Wednesday so we could spend a few days before the festivities at the beach. This was peanut’s first trip to the ocean and I couldn’t wait to see how he’d react. We arrived Wednesday evening and met the hubby’s brother, his wife and our niece for dinner. It was getting late, but after spending six hours in the car and then making peanut stay in a booster seat through dinner, I knew we needed to work some energy out of the little guy before bed. So, I grabbed the peanut, left the hubby and his brother to deal with the check and headed over the dunes.
I felt slightly selfish that I was going to introduce peanut to the ocean without the hubby, but the water is my thing. Some of my earliest memories are spending my pre-school summer days at the town beach with my mom. I lived in the pool as a kid. My grandparents lived on a large pond in Rhode Island and you had to practically drag me, my sister and my cousin out of the water for meals. My aunt and uncle would take us on trips to the coldest beach in the universe (or so it seemed to me), to the rocky beaches of Maine, the shores of Nantucket and the deliciousness of their backyard pool. I sank my feet into the red clay water of Jordan Lake in my hometown. I learned to sail in the still waters of Kerr Lake. I feel better, more relaxed, more calm when I’ve spent some time near (and in) the water. I couldn’t wait to share this with my son.
At first, he was completely enamored with all the sand and how his feet sank into the softness of the dune sands. The warmth of the day was still contained in the grains and he looked up at me and laughed. I took his hand and guided him to the wave-compacted sand at water’s edge and showed him the ocean. He slowly came with me to stand just at the edge of the water’s reach. A small wave finally reached us and tickled his toes. We walked in a bit more. He giggled. Another wave came along and surrounded his ankles. As it receeded, he looked up at me and said “Again.” And that was it. He was hooked.
We spent every morning on the beach. His favorite activity was running in and running out just to run in again as each wave came to shore.
We dug holes in the sand.
We chased beach balls. We made friends with other kids on the beach. We saw a school of dolphins. We found shells. By Sunday morning, when we were on the beach trying to get some good, professional family photos (helps when you’re friends with the wedding photographer!), peanut just ran in and laid down in the surf in his clothes.
I’m just waiting for him to ask for the ocean today now that we’re back in our landlocked hometown.
To top it off, the hubby’s sister’s wedding was wonderful. It was pouring rain from about 3 to 4pm. The ceremony was scheduled to begin at 5. Outside. But, just in time, the rain cleared. The sun appeared by the reception and it was a beautiful, beautiful day. We are so happy for J & J and wish them many years of happiness. We were so thrilled to share in their happy day and I’m even more thrilled to say this was my last stint as a bridesmaid. I loved being there for J, but I’m happily retiring my silver strappy sandals, ladies. And since all of my family is now married, I’ve decided I’m done.
One of the highlights of our weekend was watching what joy peanut brought to others. I mean, I find such absolute love and laughter in my little guy, but I am also his mother. I fully admit to my bias. But it was enlightening to see extended family, the groom’s family, wedding guests and even the catering staff (who were with us for two days…YUM!) find peanut entertaining. People couldn’t help but smile when he came in the room. Oh, we sure had our screeching, lack-of-sleep clinging, tantrum-throwing moments, but overall, he was on his very best, totally adorable, absolutely funny behavior. It was interesting to see your child through a stranger’s eyes.
I guess now it’s back to reality. I’ve been to the vet to pick up the kitty, to the grocery to restock the fridge, completed 6 of the 7 loads of laundry we managed to accumulate. Peanut took a shorter than I had hoped for nap (hence the evening instead of afternoon post) since he’s on a double digit sleep deficit. Sleeping in the same hotel room with mom and dad was not his favorite thing to do – he hasn’t been to sleep before 10pm in four days AND skipped naps most afternoons AND figured out how to climb out of the pack and play (meaning a new fun game when we tried to put him to bed at night).
I have to say, I’m ready to plan next year’s beach vacation (although I might be able to have a mini-beach trip in my bedroom this evening based on all the sand I’ve dumped out of the suitcases). So click on that sidebar of ads so I can start saving up for that beach house and permanently trade in my heels for sandy bare feet. A girl’s gotta dream.