Tuesday, May 13, 2014

on being a mother

All that Jr wanted for his birthday was to go to the beach.

So we did.

He and I left for California at three a.m. on Wednesday and got to Jessie's twelve hours later, just in time for me to pick up Breanne from school.  I wish I had my camera to get pictures of her surprised face and another of her sprinting to me, telling me that her mom had told her I was coming for a visit but she'd forgotten.  It was priceless.

The next day included shopping at Target, picking up kids from school, and dance class.  Again, pictures would have been such a good idea.

And then Friday was a day at the beach.  Just Jr and me.  It was clear and blustery and pretty much perfect.  We go to a beach where we walk up over a sand dune and hear the waves crashing before we see them.  This is the view from the dune when the tide was out and Jr was working on his castle.

The completed castle--with moat and tunnels.

The proud builder and his creation.  I don't know anyone who loves the ocean and the beach more than he does.

At the beach this time, in addition to all kinds of shells and sand dollars and crabs, we saw jellyfish.  Little, clear, quarter-sized, all the way up to this guy (who we put back in the ocean, only to learn later from the lifeguard that he was golden colored because he'd been out of the water too long...so sorry jelly). 

On Saturday, we all went to the beach and Cailin rode with Jr and me.  Such a sweet face, sweet girl.

We were all happy--it might look like we were singing (something like, if you're happy and you know it).  But we weren't singing.  We were just happy.

Jr and I tried to teach Cailin how to blow bubbles.  I may be a world champion bubble blower.

Jr hasn't had as much practice at bubble blowing as I have (but he is a better sand castle builder)

While we were at the beach, we also saw black fins just past the big waves, diving up and down in the ocean--porpoises according to a woman with a camera walking by us on the beach.  I didn't get a shot of them, but I did get this shot of Jessie getting a shot.

Later, back at the house, I had to take this picture of Cailin and Leo at the computer.  I have a picture just like it but from over 25 years ago, of Stu and Jessie when they were about the same age, trying to play with our old Atari computer.  It felt so familiar.

There was also Phase 10 playing, Jessie and Jr and me.  I have such fun, funny kids.  I hope I never forget Jessie and Jr playing rock, paper, scissors to decide who would get skipped because I couldn't chose one of them over the other, and Jessie's squeal of delight and wicked laugh when she won and exclaimed that she NEVER wins rock, paper, scissors.  My, oh my, but we laughed during that game. 

At some point, I got this picture of the four of them, giggling and bouncing together on Jr's inflatable bed.  They love that bed.  And their uncle who chases them and plays with them (and calls them rats, which is what Jack used to do).  Again, it seemed so familiar.

 Of course, there were pancakes.  If you look closely, you might be able to sense that Jr has the attention of the kids (not sure what he was telling them), and you might even see the steam rising from the big pile of pancakes I made:

And then it was time to come home.  Sunday morning at three.

In my perfect world, all of my kids would live within ten minutes of my house.  But still I am so very grateful to have someone who is not only willing to make that drive with me anytime I am ready to go, but also makes me laugh and laughs at me for all twelve hours. 

I want to remember that road sign, somewhere in the Nevada desert that says, "Fog may be icy," and Jr laughing when I told him that sign was one of many with random science facts, put up just to keep drivers awake and entertained.  We suspected the next one might say, "The sun is hot."

And we wondered aloud why only certain bumps get warning signs, but none of those other bumps get warning signs?

I don't know, maybe driving twelve hours makes things seem a lot funnier?  I only know we laughed a lot out there in the desert and over the mountain passes as the miles went by.  And he had made yet another great play list of music (which he had alphabetized by song title, so it was very random and brilliant).

I know that many of my friends have kids who live so much farther away, some even oceans away.  I can only imagine how difficult that would be, even while thinking what great adventures are out there to be had.  Mostly I'm just glad Jr and I get to go as often as we do and that we have such fun together, and I'm so glad that Jessie always welcomes and includes us.

We came home and found Stu's family here with Jack.  They had dinner nearly ready, a yummy spread, and the only thing I'd change about that meal is I wish I'd taken pictures of his adorable family.  We seem to get busy with meals and talking and tidying up after, and then they go home and I realize that once again, I haven't taken pictures.  But I keep them in my mind.  And, you know, my heart.

The drummer stopped by for a visit too.  I always anticipated my kids liking each other as adults and now feel privileged to see them together around the dinner table, talking, teasing, joking and enjoying time together.  Getting to see all of them in the same weekend is a tremendous gift that I do not take for granted.  These are good times for this mama.


Lisa B. said...

What a wonderful story. I envy you that trip to CA and the drive with your son. Wonderful, wonderful. They are too far, it's true--but I do love hearing the story of when you go.

Jake Wilde said...

This sums up exactly why i love to go to california. If i didn't need my job i would just live at the the beach. Thanks for taking me along.