Ocean Zen

No pictures (yet) and there is a really kicking storm rolling over the ocean from the edges of Hurricane Irene…so, more attention-grabbing-things happening. Watching the ocean is my zen. Sadly, my oldest child finds my zen to be the most boring thing ever.

This is how the beach thing has gone with him this year:
As he shoves me away, “I can do this myself”.
Big wave knocks him down, “Why did you let me go under”?
Me: “Okay, let’s get some water and take a rest”
Him: “No, I’m fine.” As he stumbles toward the waves like a drunken pirate.

Rinse. Repeat. One stops listening, the other one starts yelling. People go to time out. Nevermind that he’s already had that oh shit moment in the ocean. You know the one, the first time a wave gets the best of you and you can’t quite get back up? I thought that give me at least the rest of the summer without having to worry about excess bravado.

That’s a negative. I can even appreciate his stubborn determination. Kinda.

This vacation, Hurricane Irene left new sandbars, which turned the usually calm Crystal Coast of North Carolina into a rip-tide filled rough surf-land. Dudes, there aren’t even surfers are out.. Unless you count large chunks of the Bogue Inlet pier as surfers. All of this should make what is normally a cautious child be more chill about that whole beach safety thing, hunh? Doesn’t help that part of him was trying to man up in front of older cousins. Which brings back both fond–and not so fond–memories of trying to play with my older cousin, while she was telling me that sharks were going to eat me. I was so much nicer to my younger cousins–the worst thing I ever did was tell one of them to eat the boogers, thus eliminating nose-picking evidence.

The Oldest of the Small Ones is instead learning that the other part of this mom-gig is to be the Ultimate Fun Killer and Ruiner of Lives and All that is Wonderful. Fortunately, having me trapped alone in the car for 6 hours seemed to soothe some of his larger issues. Or not. All I know is that he talked to me for 3 straight hours. So.

Then E, who can almost never be described as cautious, is sort of OCD about his interaction with the ocean. No wave jumping without an adult’s hand for that one. JB and I took him out for an after-dinner walk one evening, which is the first time in his whole life that he’s had the two of us to himself. Then, when Z and I took our day trip back to Raleigh, Elliot had four adults focused entirely on him. They let him stay up late and watch WipeOut.

In his words, he’s had “the best time ever. I love you guys.”

I was slightly worried about the post-cousin leaving letdown coupled with rainy morning, but two Small People, plus five Large People in a three story house full of nooks and crannies? A truly stellar, genuinely fun game of hide-n-go seek. As it turns out, my mother in law is the best hider of them all. Craziness.

I so don’t want to go back to reality tomorrow. I do miss our four-legged Small People, aka the Dogs– I’m also glad I have another set of grandparents to do the free pet sitting thing!