Both of the boys managed to stay awake last night to see their first 4th of July fireworks display. A few hours at the beach yesterday morning helped ensure long naps in the afternoon, leading to a bit more nighttime energy than usual. There’s not much that compares, fireworks-wise, to sitting on the beach while bright lights explode above a roaring ocean. Elliott really enjoyed it. He held his arms open as wide as he could open them to let me know he knew the fireworks were going to be “this big.” Ian spent most of the night trying to tell us the bright lights weren’t actually fireworks, but he never really offered what he thought they might be.
Katie got a couple of good shots of the fireworks:
As I watched the boys play in the sand this morning, I was reminded of Richard Louv’s book The Last Child in the Woods. In it, Louv laments the many things today’s kids are missing out on by spending so little time outdoors compared to previous generations. One of those things is imagination.
As I watched Elliott dig a pond and a series of rivers in a beach that runs for thousands of miles, I couldn’t help but be awed that a four year old could carve his own little world out of the sands of such a vast creation. I wondered how many kids are missing out on a chance to dream of one day building dams and routing rivers by spending their days lost in the media world. And has today’s educational system that seems more and more built to teach kids to pass tests completely forgotten the value of a child’s imagination and the motivation to learn that stems from it?
I was also reminded how lucky I am to have a wife that can answer the endless questions these boys come up with while roaming their small section of the beach. Those two weeks I had to live without her several years ago while she hung out on a research vessel in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean, and sometimes several hundred feet below its surface, are paying dividends.
The boys have played so well together.
Although, there are times Elliott would like Ian to understand there is a time for work and a time for play.
As it is, Elliott does most of the work, and Ian is content to stand guard, always mindful of the current location of the water.