Last week, while we were on vacation, we managed to make it down to the shore to visit my dad. I made the mistake of telling Michael that we were going to see the ocean before we left, so he asked us about the ocean a number of times on the drive down. The two and a half year old version of “Are we there yet?” He continued to ask about going to the ocean even after we got to my dad’s house. So finally, my dad and I decided to walk him up to see the ocean.
The weather wasn’t that great. The air temperature was about 72 plus the added chill of the ocean breeze. The water temperature was about 69, which is not bad for the Jersey shore, but not exactly balmy either. However, I insisted on changing Michael into his bathing suit. I thought about it for, oh say a nanosecond, and decided I should put my suit on too. My dad told me I didn’t need to, he had his suit on and that would be good enough. I know better than that.
The walk up to the beach isn’t that far, however we do have to walk in the road and cross the two main roads on the island. And, even though it’s after Memorial Day, there was still a good bit of traffic. So, I stayed pretty close to Michael to make sure he didn’t get hurt.
That’s when my dad started in on the stop hovering comments. During the quarter mile walk, he must have said it five or six times. It ticked me off a little, but I just looked away and rolled my eyes.
(I really wanted to point out that his constant admonishment about hovering might be considered hovering by some. I’m patting myself on the back for actually biting my tongue for once.)
When we hit the sand, I stopped Michael and took off his sandals. Well, if that wasn’t the most thrilling sensation. He was fascinated by the sand, and started to play right there in the walkway. I did my best to encourage him to come up over the dunes, but he wasn’t buying it. Once again, my dad told me to stop hovering. Great.
“Hey Michael, do you want to see the ocean? It’s right over there” I said and pointed. And Michael was off. Up the dunes and over the sand, with my dad and I right behind. As he neared the water, I pulled off the shirt I had over my bathing suit and flipped it over to my dad. He looked startled, but I knew what was about to happen.
SPLASH! Michael ran straight into the ocean. He didn’t even blink, just ran right in. The first wave hit him and down he went in the surf. The good mommy that I am, I was right there to catch him. The bad mommy in me was loving the look of surprise on his face.
“Where’s his fear?” my dad asked.
“He doesn’t have any dad.” I replied out loud.
In my mind I was saying, “SEE! DO YOU SEE NOW? THAT’S WHY I WAS HOVERING!” But I know my dad. He didn’t need to hear it. He kindly refrained from telling me to stop hovering for the remainder of the visit. Never question the mommy instincts.
Here's the little devil. Please note that the waves are really tiny. I didn't let my kid run into a hurricane storm surge.
Here is the big devil after taking a dip.
And one more of Michael. Just because I can.
Michael loved the beach so much that I had to pick him up and carry him off the beach when his lips started to turn blue from the cold.