July 6, 2009

Beach Day

On Sunday, the sun came out after a 4 week absence. The weather has been uncharacteristically bleak and dreary for this time of year and it's made Mainers cranky. We're not used to monotonous weather. We like our air masses fast-moving and our summer storms like a vaccination - dramatic and scary, but over quickly. Instead, we've had nothing but rain for what seems like years. Our garden has suffered as well. Any vegetables not completely submerged in the deluge were chewed into lacy doilies by slugs and snails, who have never been happier. There are dire predictions on the radio of late blight settling in over the potato crops in the County, owing to the wet conditions and tainted vegetable seedlings from Walmart and Home Depot. Fourth of July fireworks were canceled up and down the state. Weekend festivals that would normally host tens of thousands of people are drawing only handfuls of visitors. It's been downright depressing.Yesterday the skies cleared and Kerstin and I took Alden on a jog through our neighborhood. We watched everyone come out of their houses in the early morning, squinting and rubbing their eyes, but finally smiling at each other. After the run, Karen came over, brought a picnic lunch, and suggested we take Alden to the beach. Alden often takes walks with his daycare down to the harbor to feed the gulls, but this would be his first beach experience. We drove about an hour to Pemaquid beach, along with half the whole State. It was pretty crowded, but we managed to stake out a patch of sand for ourselves. Alden was very interested in the water and wanted to investigate. Unfortunately, Alden thinks about as much of sand as he does grass. This was his response to getting some on his toes:After carrying our wussy baby back to the blanket, we enjoyed a lovely picnic in the sun. Alden was careful not to stray too closely to the edges of the blanket, and was unusually easy to keep tabs on. He preferred to actually lay, sit or stand on someone rather than on the blanket. My theory is that he was disquieted by the sensation of sand moving under the blanket and wanted to put even more distance between him and the dreaded stuff. It was both funny and annoying. But we still managed to have a nice picnic and some folks even managed a little siesta.Afterward, Karen and I thought we'd try this beach introduction thing again, only this time with shoes. This went over much better. Alden LOVED the water, even though it was really cold. He went in up to his waist and I think he would have gone in much deeper if we'd let him. He managed to get about 4 pounds of sand in his shoes and bathing suit, but oddly didn't seem phased in the least. We even took off his shoes after a while, and he was still happy to jump about in the waves barefooted. As we headed back, we watched him closely to see how he'd fare. At first he had a great time and really enjoyed watching the big kids run up and down the beach. We made it halfway to our blanket before he realized his predicament, lifting up his feet as if from hot coals, and picking at the sand in between his toes while chastising it with a stern "No no!" Such a strange kid. Anyway, it was a successful introduction to the beach and a great day. Assuming we get some more sunny days this summer, we'll definitely be back.

No comments: