Our trip to Canada had two primary tasks: to celebrate my mother’s 70th birthday and my mackerdoodle’s 4th birthday. They are only three days apart, and when we told our first born that we would be in Canada for her birthday she had two requests – to share a birthday dinner with her youngest Ontario cousin (we do cluster birthdays in my family) and to swim at the beach near Nana’s house (that would be Long Point on Lake Erie.) We saw Lake Erie on a really cold day in April 2009 when we were staying with my mom and the mackerdoodle has a long memory.
I hadn’t noticed until the mackerdoodle was 2 or so how often summer is paired with a trip to the beach in children’s programming. I only noticed it then when the mackerdoodle began asking when she could go to the beach. Seeing a beach near Nana’s house in the cold had just set her mind on the real possibility of taking a summer beach trip.
When someone has been anticipating an event or place or day for two years there is a pretty big chance that the reality won’t live up to the anticipation. I was concerned that this would be the case for the mackerdoodle’s much anticipated trip to the beach. This concern was increased when the weather for our three available beach days looked stormy. In fact, we didn’t attempt our beach day until our last day in Ontario. It all could have ended in so much thunder and tears.
But it didn’t. It was exactly what she wanted. She played in the sand and in the water. She laughed and ran and was so excited she couldn’t even eat the ice cream Papa bought her (the cheesedoodle was more than happy to eat it for her, and so every one had a perfect day.)
Here she is, wrapped up in a towel, shivering but insisting that she would like to go back into the water.
Two days ago she was telling me all about the beach (again) and telling me how much fun she had, and telling me (again) that one of the waves hit her in the face and went up her nose and she giggled, like she always does when she tells the story. Then her face changed and she said, “And mama, it looked like the clouds and the water were touching each other because the water went so far away!” She looked right at me, with an intensity that makes her seem much older than she is, and said, “That was so cool mama! It was so cool.”
And it was. It was a perfect vacation day.
But where, some of you may be wondering, are Jonathan’s glasses in that photo? That my friends is a blog post all on its own.