Currently nursing a cup of coffee, sitting on the rug in our living room. Becket is next to me, kicking away and doing his little baby core workouts ;).
I have a ton of sandy clothes to sort through, and all our bikes and trailer and stroller and beach chairs are sprawled on the back patio drying. A huge storm came through Edisto late Saturday night, and everything that was in the carport under the stilts of our beach house was soaked. We had to load it all up in the Pilot anyway for our drive home.
It was our 8th trip to Edisto with Jason’s family. The first time we came, Will was a little baby in the womb. Thanks to Jason’s self-sacrificing mother, we have been able to come back every year since – and once for a second trip in the fall. When you sit on the shore flooded with memories of 18 month Will throwing sticks and shells back into the ocean for a dedicated 3 hours, shrieking “Beep Beep!” the whole time, it has a way of emphasizing the growth of the pensive, daydreamy 5 year old behind you building a creation of sand and reeds, on the same beach, with the same intense focus.
I have some special and unique memories of this trip though! My mother in law – may the Lord reward her – volunteered to take the two big guys down to the beach, and said Jason could drop them off on Saturday (he was dropping off Max anyway with his stepdad, who loves dogs and doesn’t love the beach in the summer). I got to meet one of my girlfriends for a little drink at Nordstrom and a nice long chat at the mall with just our baby babies. It was like old times when we both did that with our eldests. 🙂
Oh and on the way to his moms house, Jason took the guys to the movies to see the new Nemo.
They loved it. 🙂 Finding Nemo was the only movie Will watched for a long time when he was a little toddler – before he discovered George. Thats because Finding Nemo was one of my favorite movies which I owned before I had any babies ;).
It shocked me how lovely it was to just have Becket. I had thought the weekend without the older boys would just feel lonely and still be exhausting butttt, no, actually. It was way easier to pack everything and scrub the house!
Jason and I went uptown to go out to eat early Sunday evening. Becket slept on my chest in his Ergo carrier. (Someone who loves me very much gifted me with the Ergo 360 Cool Air when I had Becket, and we use it daily. When he’s awake, he faces out, and when he’s ready to nap I just turn him around and he’s asleep in minutes).
It was really refreshing to have some peace and quiet with my husband. We walked a bit around the city… and witnessed some grown fools playing that new Pokemon game, which was entertaining… And we left at noon on Monday to join the rest of our little family at the beach.
Henry – who is usually too busy and mischievous to be at all attached to me – was so precious. He begged “Hold me!” going up or down the stairs; he came up to the stool I was sitting on in the kitchen and with his big blue eyes, asked if I could come watch Jake with him on the sofa… he wouldn’t let me leave for a run without him… he gave me as much sugar as I asked for and then some. I ate it up.
Both boys wanted to be on the beach all day, every day. Henry didn’t take long to get a little too comfortable with the ocean. Jason took him out a few yards and let him jump up and down in the waves. His little blond face was radiant.
Will was his normal skittish, busy self. Jason and I decided his spirit animal is a sandpiper. We now refer to him in code as “The Piper”.
Jason’s cousin Ridgely is a very experienced fisherman, and has a boat, so they took Will out with them early Wednesday morning. Will caught a redfish! It was too small to keep though. But they also caught some saltwater trout.
Jason and his cousin were laughing cause they said they were a little nervous about Will getting all upset over the live bait situation. Then they overheard him singing a cheerful song to the little minnows about going to their deaths. Lol. So even though he IS a sensitive soul, I guess he’s all boy too ;).
And he has an impressive bed head…
Also, this was the first summer for Ridgely and his cute wife Ashton to bring their first baby to the beach! Will was so tender and sweet to Baby Adelyn.
This little guy’s first beach trip was a success! He napped really well in the Ergo on the beach for me, so we could go out to the beach all together for longer stretches. We even nursed with the nursing cover! (nursing in public is STILL an embarrassing as hell thing for me, so that was quite a triumph).
Becket is a little stubborn, I think. It took a lot to get him on the Baby Whisperer EASY schedule, but once I did (around month 1 I think?), he wouldn’t ever nurse unless he was just waking up. This was a little weird to work around leaving him with people; I couldn’t safely go for a long bike ride or a short run unless he had just woken up and nursed. He is currently on a 3 hour schedule, TOPS, with a few 2 hour cycles some days, so it just seemed like by the time I had nursed him and gotten ready to go, he was looking a little sleepy.
One evening, Alane said she was happy to stay in with the baby monitor, after I had put him down for the night, so the boys and Jason and I could go out and enjoy the sunset on the beach. Henry had had a long nap that day, so he wasn’t ready for bed yet, and we all love the beach the most in the evening because its cooler and quieter.
We spent the dusk watching Will build “a cool table” with reeds over a hole in the sand, a creation that looked a lot more malicious (in a Swiss Family Robinson way) than he realized, enjoying the beach pretty much all to ourselves. When we came back Alane was holding poor little Becket, who had woken up 15 minutes earlier and kept spitting out the pacifier cause he was hungry. Oops!
There were many sweet memories I caught with pictures; there were many I did not. In those moments, I know its beyond cheesy, but I thought of Pam in The Office on her wedding day, with the little mental picture taking thing.
I thought of that when the boys and I escaped from the beach house one afternoon and I rode my bike to the pool with them in the trailer. I taught them to play Marco Polo with me for the first time – thats not exactly a game you can play with a 3 month old baby strapped to your chest – and Will, paddling along in his little Puddlejumper, kept calling back “Polar!” instead of “Polo!”
I thought of it when Will and I got out for another bike ride, just the two of us, while Daddy napped with Henry. I biked up to the only grocery store on the island, which Will kept calling “the little market”, and I got him a Snickers bar as a treat for being good and coming with me. We rode back to the beach house, and I looked back to see a full on mustache and goatee of chocolate on his serious, sleepy little face.
There was a manatee mailbox at one of the beach houses we passed, and I taught Will the “Barbara Manatee” song from Veggie Tales. (He hasn’t seen much of veggie tales, admittedly because I am still sick of hearing it from my baby brother’s incessant watching of it not long enough ago lol). His sweet voice piped up from behind my bike, right on key, with the echo: “Manatee, manatee! One for me, one for me! Manatee from Heaven! I love I love I love!”
We took a last walk on the beach Saturday night, and we got Gobby (Alane) to come with us. Aunt Beth stayed behind with the babies, like the angel she truly is. We walked down to the beach, surrounded by the singing of cicadas. On the shore, we could see distant lightning from a storm farther down the coast.
These boys are sooooo close to the boogie boarding, body surfing, riding their own bikes without me stage. My mother in law’s vivid memories of bringing 5 year old, 7 year old, 10 year old Jason to the same beach probably make me realize the swiftness of these years more. That and, being of the same melodramatic nature as my eldest child.
Okay, I totally ASKED them to hold hands for the picture ;).
Before we came to the beach, during our kid free date in Charlotte, I told Jason my goal for this trip was to not hurry the boys along.
It may sound like a weird goal. But lately our lives have been speeding up and I catch myself daily snapping at one of the boys to HURRY UP!
They deserve better than that. They deserve stretches in their life where they could take their time and enjoy the present moment and not have to worry about getting from point A to point B. After all, they have all their adult lives for that!
I wanted one week where they didn’t feel like I was stressed or impatient with them. I think we got that! I’m sure it will wear off quickly but it was refreshing just taking life at the pace of a carefree child.