Thursday, July 14, 2011

Showing up

After all the jellyfish hullabaloo, it was time to get back in the water.

I timidly walked into the water the morning after the attack, I mean sting.  I convinced the kids it was all fine.  I convinced everyone except JT who was with me when I was stung.  Somehow his fear of the ocean turned out to be my fault and not the fault of the jellyfish.  "You made me scared," he told me.  Why is everything the mom's fault?

As we walked deeper into the waves, JT was clinging to me.  He was terrified. 

With each step I could feel a new wonder of the ocean.  Sand dollars (which I had heard were dwindling in numbers two years ago when I was in the this part of the country, but Peyton found 165 in one morning!) were everywhere, fish were jumping and Lucy pulled up a gigantic starfish.  "Isn't this amazing?" I asked everyone.  Meanwhile JT was doing what I really wanted to be doing, crying.  

The funny thing about nature is, it seems to pop out at you when you aren't really looking for it--the animals, they just show up. And when you do go on a hunt or maybe search is a better word, you can't find it.  

We hopped on a dolphin cruise in search of the gentle sweet mammals that don't sting people.  It was a very nice, calm boat ride through the ocean waters. After quite a while when the captain asked the group if they had any questions, Lucy raised her hand and asked the captain, "How come we haven't seen any dolphins yet?"

"Good question," the anxious, somewhat frustrated captain replied.

Leave it to Lucy to say what is on everyone's mind.

We did finally see some dolphins and I do like them much better than other sea creatures.  The kids had fun, but I think the grown ups enjoyed it more.

The funny thing about kids is that sometimes when you plan really big things that you think they will love, they don't.  And when you keep it simple, they show up.

This week we have gone swimming in the pool, played on the beach, done some fishing, played cards and hung out.  My kids are so happy.  And so tired.  There has been minimal tv watching and hardly any computer time.  There have been a few squabbles, but nothing like normal days.

We haven't planned big tours and amusement park rides; no character dinners or shopping.  We have kept it simple and they are showing up--and playing hard.  

Every night they have gone to bed tired.  
The good summer tired.
Vacation tired.

These kids are making memories--belly laughing with cousins, fishing with grandpa, playing barbies with their favorite uncle, jumping waves and more.  

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