Wednesday, October 05, 2016

To the edge

We walk to the edge in different ways. Sometimes we charge right in and take on the challenges. Other times we choose getting there slowly dipping ourselves in one toe at a time. Eventually we learn that facing the challenge is the most important part of growing courage. Cultivating courage in our children is a remarkable gift we can offer. It is the courage in little endeavors that will grow leading them through the big moments. Seeing my girl inch her way up to the water overcoming her fear of big waves reminds me of my own moments where I needed to find the courage to press on. Together we faced those waves and found joy in riding them out. 

Thursday, September 29, 2016

Fading Footprints

Little by little my sweet baby girl is growing up. Before my eyes it seems the toddler is fading away. She tells me frequently "my do it myself" in her eagerness to be independent, to be the big girl she aspires to be. With three older sisters sweet Janie has much to observe. Meanwhile I watch as those footprints grow further apart and fade away as she continues this journey called growing up. 

Tuesday, September 27, 2016

Explorer moments

A little explorer. She has been strolling along the shore testing sand and seaweed texture in her hand and toes. An occasional shell will interest her. She will stoop over and consider it purpose. She may pick it up to get a closer look. Rubbing her finger along its edges noticing the tiny barnacles affixed to its surface. Water washes nearby more sand squishes between her toes. She pauses looking out to the sea. Waves gently crash barely reaching her feet. A gull will sound and off she goes again seeking for a new item to investigate. 

Saturday, September 24, 2016

Along the shore

A walk in the sand where the shore calls us to play. I let her wear the dress today. The beautiful pale blue dress that I need to iron after every washing. The dress that she asks to wear almost every day. The vintage dress with missing buttons. Her dress. Her most favorite dress to wear. 

To the beach. 

Sand and water. 

And it was ok. 

She had the most blissfully wonderful time. Me too. I laughed as I watched her thoroughly enjoy herself. Janie wanted to go to the sand. To play in that sand, squish it, roll in it, experience it. We walked along the boardwalk and I considered the options. Yes or No. Why should I say no? Was I afraid of dirt? When I got to the bottom of it I realized that my reasons were foolish compared to the benefit of Janie having a beautiful moment at the beach. The Rhode Island coastline is stunning in late summer. Tourists are gone the beach is nearly empty. It's here to be experienced. We kicked off our shoes, I rolled up my jeans, and we set off to play. 

Friday, September 23, 2016

Her Blue Dress

The timelessness of some dresses can take you back to memories long ago forgotten. There are two missing buttons on this vintage blue dress. One was lost right after her first wearing shortly after I found it at the thrift store the other early this summer. What a find that dress was way back last winter! It's Janie's favorite dress. She loved it from first sight as did I. The front smocking is adorned with delicate little daisies. The white collar and tie back waist add to its loveliness. It was a bit too large for her at the time but I let her wear it because I know. I understand how something beautiful to wear can change your day. Once some other little girl wore this dress on warm summer days playing in the sunshine.  I imagine she too loved this dress because it made her feel beautiful and feminine. 

Time gets away from me and those buttons, those two little missing buttons, they just never seem to get sewn back on before Janie wears the dress again. Sometimes I pause and say, "not today, darling." And we set aside the dress because I keep thinking I'll find the time in my day to mend the dress, that I shouldn't let her wear it again with two missing buttons. Today I told myself forget it. Today we will wear that favorite blue dress and have a very good day.  

Wednesday, September 21, 2016

Second Beach, Rhode Island

Today we visited the beach. We needed to get out and use up some of that toddler energy. I was looking forward to seeing the coastline. Sand and water? Yes! I wasn't certain about our plan when we set out but I did think enough to bring along her swimsuit and a towel. Unsure of what the beach would look like I was willing to go explore. I'm glad we found this beach. The most perfect location for small kids. The bay side of the Rhode Island coast is much better for the littles. The waves are so gentle that the water is not going to frighten them away. Janie was so happy to be out in the sunshine. It was the most perfect day. Warm and breezy with ample sun. Why not dance at the beach?

A seagull was stalking us or more specifically our beach bag. It thought we had food and was poking its head inside the bag a few times. They are persistent. This gull was going to find food and even was clever enough to know how to pull our towels off of the bag to get a better look inside! I knew I should have brought our zippered beach bag. Janie decided to give chase to the seagull and it realized that a toddler was an opponent not worthy of fighting. And I thought the gulls were persistent. Toddlers are far more so. Good thing because I didn't want to have to deal with bird poo all over our blanket. Janie took much joy in scaring off those pesky birds.

Sand covered hands pave the way to discovery. We forgot to bring any shovels with us today. That didn't stop her. It made the digging so much more fun. A 6 year old little girl was on the beach with her grandmother. They came down from Massachusetts for the day. It was half day for school there and the day was just perfect for swimming. The little girl was just as happy as Janie to have another child to play with on the beach. They were really the only kids there. I was glad to talk to a local New Englander about the area. I had a great conversation with the grandmother. She reminded me of a friend of mine. The girls played together as if they had known each other forever. I could tell that Janie missed her sister, Adelynn, dearly. I learned that the Rhode Island beaches are a favorite spot for Massachusetts locals. The water is warm and off season is a great time to visit to get the beach to yourself.

We found plenty of clam shells. It's clam country up here. Some were bigger than we have ever seen before. There are not this many clams on our Virginia beaches. A bucket would have been a great idea to bring along but we made do with our beach bag. Between the shells and her bathing suit I think we'll be finding Rhode Island sand in our van for a long time. We could have stayed here all day playing until the sun set but by 4pm we needed to head back home. Snacks were eaten, drinking water all gone, and the need for a nap was setting in.