Saturday, August 18, 2012

Last week of summer

We got back yesterday from what's become, to my delight, our annual week at the beach.

It's a balm on our frenetic life, this week. Both girls got more adventurous with the water and the currents and the granular sensation of sand everywhere (okay, only one girl needs recognize that as an accomplishment). The boy wouldn't touch ocean but happily played in its proximity for the first time. We're a cautious lot, we noteverstills, and when the adult contingent proceeds slowly enough to accommodate that, we all have a lovely time.

It's a tricky thing: sometimes I think I fret over their caution so much because I was always so cautious, and all I want for them is an easygoing approach to life that I could never formulate for myself. But they are who they are, and that's probably at least partially because we are who we are, and so if it takes each kid three years of summer vacations to adjust to the beach, so be it. Nobody here was found paragliding, but we made castles with moats, dug out little sand crabs, and jumped through the waves. Both girls faced the pool's waterslide for the first time this year with great delight and a million repetitions. And although that meant that I spent fully half my vacation at the bottom of the waterslide catching the girls who enjoy its speed but still won't face its underwater conclusion, it was entirely worth it. Last year they both cringed at the mere mention of the slide. This year we stepped out on our balcony, saw it and the ocean beneath us, and they clamored for slide first.

We minigolfed our hearts out and found cotton candy and ice cream and a ferris wheel. We three girls took advantage of the resort's daily arts-and-crafts and kids' movie showings while the boys ensured G's daily nap happened. We had a great sequence of days as just-us, not us-running-around camp and daycare and work and playdates and meetings and all the other things that obstruct our just-us-ness. It was wonderful. And now we're home.

And now we have one week until E begins first grade. She's anxious and although she's going in with friends this year, she doesn't know her teachers or their expectation. We hoped her teacher information would arrive in today's mail but it didn't. It's going to be a long week. Cue the nervous tension.

Summer's almost over.

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