Late last night I had a mishap with my Shetland Tea Shawl. A serious mishap. I’ll write about it separately. Today, I found a good way to wash those lace blues away was to go to the beach with a nearly two-year old, get a lot of sun, eat a lot of chips and oysters and ice cream (not all at the same time!) and come home sandy and sleepy.
Lace troubles? What lace troubles?
Alice is, unusually, sleeping over for two nights. Last night Sean picked her up after work so we could leave nice and early this morning. The first stop was a coffee shop in Mogo with a giant chess set. Huge fun. Literally.
We did a spot of shopping and Uncle Sean chose a new hat for Alice. Doesn’t she look fetching in it? It’s got crochet flowers on it. I thought that was most fitting and applauded Sean for his choice.
This was shortly followed by lunch at the pretty little town of Malua Bay where, unlike last time we had a day at the coast, I was able to buy oysters from a man with a refrigerated truck near the beach. They were sublime and I didn’t have to share them because Sean is allergic and I think two year olds are more interested in chips.
Then, onto the main event. The swimming. A quick dip in the shallow part of the surf at our lunch venue revealed Alice is not keen on even little waves, at least not until she’s reacquainted herself with the water. We left there quickly and went to a now familiar spot near Broulee, Candlagan Creek (thanks for the recommendation Drk!) where the water is shallow, still and warm. It’s a hit.
I was most thrilled today to see that Alice learned a new trick. Floating. She figured it out all by herself, perched on her elbows in the shallow water, her legs floating freely behind her. She and I sat like that for what seemed like hours this afternoon, just chatting quietly and saying ‘hi!’ to other kids who splashed past us while we, not needing the splashing, simply kept cool while Sean was nearby exploring slightly deeper water. I had to get the floating on camera so her parents could see just how much she’s learned this summer, between beach visits and her paddling pool at home. Clever girl. This age of discovery is pretty much the coolest thing in the world. Much cooler than lace that’s causing difficulty and is best forgotten.
It really doesn’t get better than this. Whichever one of us it was who had the idea to grab Alice for the day and escape down the coast was a genius (just quietly I think it was me). We’ve learned heaps both times we’ve been (we shall not discuss the poo incident from the last trip!) and have both come home tired and happy from a day that is unlike the kind we would have if we had just gone by ourselves. Little kids show you a different world. They show you the shallow, quiet end of the beach where little fish flicker past your feet. They show you the joy of sand castles and the simple pleasure in floating.
I know that in our happy days down the coast, we’re giving Alice fundamental, joyful moments that go into her memories. But she gives us just as much even if, at the end of the day, we’re sunburned and exhausted. You can’t put a price on that.