I asked Ian the other day if he was enjoying the beach. He said, “yes, I wish our house was here, then we could stay here forever.”
I told him if we did that we’d have to take a half a million dollars out of his college fund. I went on to tell him since he didn’t have that kind of money in his college fund, that in fact he didn’t have a college fund at all, he was probably going to have to settle for growing up in the “center of the universe”, which is actually as cool as growing up on the beach.
He gave me that same look he gives me when I tell him he should eat his broccoli because all the cool kids are doing it.
I posted a picture of Elliott in the swimming pool spitting water the other day and a good friend of mine commented, “oh, to be young again.” He’s right. Young boys playing at the beach make young look as fun as it ever looks. Why not. I mean they step out of the world’s largest sandbox and into the world’s biggest and deepest swimming pool. And in Elliott’s words: “dad, the waves never stop here like they do at Kings Dominion” (in the wave pool).
The last two years we’ve come to the beach over the week of the 4th of July. So I imagine the boys have come to believe that the coolest fireworks happen at the beach as well.
It has been an especially great week for Elliott in the water. We’ve been working with him on his swimming at the Y, but had up to this point been unsuccessful in getting him to swim without his life jacket. Katie has been persistent, though, and has tried everything, to include bribery and threatening to buy a beach house with his college fund (which is every bit as valuable as Ian’s), to get him to try at least floating without the life jacket.
Well it finally happened this week. He decided he wanted to go for it. And as luck would have it, he made his first attempt at floating in the salty waters of the sound while we were out boating with some dear friends. Now I don’t know how many of you have tried floating in salt water, but it is easier than in the fresh water of a swimming pool. In fact, if the water is salty enough, it is like floating on the surface of your mattress. And this water was that salty. Elliott lay back in the waters and began floating away as if we had launched a canoe. The excitement on his face was worth all the sour looks we had seen each time we suggested he try being in the water without his life jacket. Once back in the swimming pool, he was a brand new man. A Michael Phelps – like man.
Ian being Ian, was not going to be outdone. He insisted on walking in the shallow end of the pool without his lifejacket. Somehow he began to associate walking in the water with swimming, which is all Ian needs to be a little bit bold. So he was sitting on the edge of the pool without his lifejacket. He says “watch this daddy,” then walks to the steps that lead into the shallow end of the pool. I’m wondering to myself and feeling almost certain at the exact same time what the boy was about to do. He took one step down into the pool, gave me a quick look to make sure I was watching, then without hesitation sprang head first into the water like a torpedo. Fortunately, Katie was in the water nearby and was able to save him from himself. He coughed up a little water, then broke into that Ian giggle.
We quickly got him back in a lifejacket.
Oh to be young again.