So I'm sitting here now, after the kids have gone to bed, after hitting "submit" (or "e-file" or whatever, my mind's a gelatinous mass) on Turbotax, thinking about the day as the quiet settles in around me and begins to clear my head.
I took the kids to the beach today after picking Jules up from preschool. This was our second beach trip in two days and I feel SO LUCKY to live in a place where we can skip down to stick our toes in the soft sand whenever we feel like it. Yesterday it was Jules's idea. The sun popped out just as I popped in to his school to get him. "It's such a beautiful, sunny afternoon, Mama," he said. "The perfect time for a trip to the beach." So that's just what we did. We dug, we dumped, we tossed rocks in the water, we searched for buried treasure and hidden sea creatures. It was so much more fun than what I had planned--watching the kids play in the back yard while I cleaned the kitchen. We had such a good time, I promised them we'd be back again the next day if the weather held up, and it did.
Today was a different day. Today Kasper raced past two boys his age (around 18 months) who were standing a healthy distance from the water, tossing in rocks, and tossed HIMSELF in. He was so over yesterday's placid stone plopping that he decided instead to treat the entire Puget Sound like his own personal mud puddle. I thought I came prepared, having brought his rain boots this time, but no. He sat right down in the water, prompting me to drag him out by his jacket (like the scruff of his neck), then went back in for more, the second time doing a face plant. And back again. And again.
The parents of Kasper's little peers looked on all aghast as our scene played out : me dragging Kasper time and again out of the water while his big brother Jules waded in knee deep (yes, waaaay over the very unnecessary rainboots he was also wearing) with a big mason jar trying to catch another sea animal. At one point Jules was sure he had an eel in his jar and, freaking out completely, tossed the jar five feet further into the water. Well, unlike the egg carton boat I waded knee deep into murky Greenlake water to rescue the week before, there was NO WAY I was going in after this little casualty. Yes, we littered, yes we did. But only because I had to make the choice between holding Kasper at bay (or out of the bay) and rescuing that jar. I chose my child. You would, too.
So then, while all of this madness is unfolding around me, someone starts calling out, "look at the whale, boys" in our general direction. I look back, not sure if they're talking to my boys, snatch Kasper out of the water again, scan the beach for Jules, finally look out at the water. By this time it's gone. Apparently, a whale had surfaced right in front of us while my back was turned to it (or my face turned to Kasper, or Jules, or to a stick I'd hoped to snag to fish out that damn mason jar). Everyone on the beach saw it. Right there in front of us. Everyone, except us.
I guess we have another reason now to get back to the beach (as if we needed one).
Grove and Ceremony print edition
11 hours ago