well, the last one until mommy's joyous return, that is.
sunday morning we got up early (or, regular time for beebs) and packed up some stuff for a day at the beach, daddy-bebe style!
just like the day before, there was barely a cloud in the sky! today would be about ten degrees hotter though, up into the low nineties!
it was on the cool side when we left, so long sleeves were in order...
leaving the city at seven in the morning on a sunday is a sure-fire way to avoid any and all traffic- we even hit all green lights on the way to the expressway! okay, that last part is a lie. we did hit a few red ones. but i ran them! because there was no one around!
bebe was very patient while i unloaded the car in our primo (free, and close) parking spot!
the tide was actually coming in when we got there, but it had only just started.
there were many three-four foot swells and the water went from mild chop to glassy- perfect for surfing.
first order of business for beatrix: shoes- off! big rock- check! giant shell fragment- check!
we knew the surf would be pounding from weather reports of all of the off-shore storms. normally we get waves in sept from hurricanes down south, but this year there's been surf all summer long. thanks, climate change!
we watched some unsuspecting waders make their way out past the breakers.
"y'know, the sets are coming in pretty fast. those folks aren't going to make it unless they get a move on..."
"ooooh, that's messy."
we spent a lot of time playing in the sand this time because the waves were so strong. bebe still has a very cautious relationship with the ocean, which is good, i think.
oh jeeze. look at that kid's drawers.
city kids, y'know? always walking around with their pants hanging off.
some sea treasures. i would collect cool looking stones in this while bebe was away digging in the sand, and when she'd see what i was doing she would drop her shovel, saunter over real casual-like, and at the last second take the thing from me and dump out my rocks. no malice involved, and no game play either. just something in her programming. she'd turn around and go back to what she was doing, oblivious. almost like she was sleepwalking.
she's super into taking her sandals on and off (it's a very big-girl thing to be able to do). we brought her water shoes, which are essentially sandals, with us and she spent about twenty minutes taking off one pair and and putting the others on, then doing it all over again. by luck of the draw she always got the right feet, and she never mixed and matched.
the waves were cranking by the time we left- some six foot sets with a ton of five footers. for those of you that don't know, you judge the height of the wave from water surface level, not the ground. so if you're floating in water up to your neck and the waves are six or seven footers, by the time they're on top of you they're blocking out the sun. and the taller they are, the faster the water is moving, i.e. the faster you're being sucked towards them as the water draws back from the shore. and if you don't get out of the way, that's a large volume of water coming down on you...
"this water bottle right here is as close as i want to be to all that! let's go have lunch with grammie, auntie ash, and uncle seth, and then go home and see mommy!"
sounds like a great idea!
as a sort of post script, i want to mention that i got probably the best compliment i've ever received as a father (so far?) today while at the beach. sure, people tell us all the time when we're out how precious bebe is, and how well behaved she is, and as parents we can take some credit for that. but this was a little different.
there was an older couple, maybe mid-fifties, who were one of the few folks there before me and the beebs. we set up sort of in front of them but down closer to the water. anyway, on one of the trips that bebe and i took to go splash in the the water, they approached us with big smiles on their faces and i readied myself for the usual "she's beautiful, she looks like so much fun, she seems like such a great kid," etc that i'm accustom to hearing. instead they said "we just wanted to tell you what a great job we think you do with her. we watched you set up all of your stuff and put her suit on, and the sunscreen, and play with her in the sand and in the water- you just look like a really great dad and we wanted to tell you that we noticed!"
i was a little taken aback, but if playing with my daughter at one of my favorite locales wasn't enough to already make my day, this would have done it. and getting back to the point of these rapid weekend posts (that would be mommy being gone for at least twenty-four hours for the first time ever), i wouldn't be half the dad i am if it wasn't for mommy. i'm constantly cheating off of her, learning new and better ways to do things, better ways to handle tougher situations... i get so much parenting knowledge just from watching her in action. so, thanks mommy. we love you a lot, and you really are the best!