This past weekend, we went to the beach with Bragan, Banks, and Coleman, and Molly and Parrish (who were SUCH good sports). Will had been looking forward to this for weeks...we kept telling him we were going to the beach with Coleman and Molly (some of his favorite people), so anytime you asked him where he was going, he would answer "Go beach." Needless to say, he was excited.
I think the beach lived up to the hype for Will. Of course, he didn't realize that getting to the beach required a 4+ hour car ride, and this fact made him a bit cranky (it didn't help that he refused to nap AT ALL in the car). But, once we arrived, it was bliss for Master Will. There was sand! And water! And a pool! Oh yes, and most importantly, MOLLY! (Or, "Moolly. Molly. Moooooolllly. Molly. Molly!" as Will constantly referred to her.) Will and Coleman played relatively well together and even shared toys pretty well. They both loved digging in the sand and building sand castles with their dads. But Will especially loved the water. He took a little while to get used to the idea of the ocean, but once he did, he was like a little fish. Having never been an ocean person myself, I was astonished by his utter lack of fear. He loved the waves, and didn't mind if they hit him in the face or knocked him down. Sand and salt all over his body...in his hair, on his face...this didn't bother him one bit. At one point, he was lying on his belly in the shallow water just waiting for waves to splash him. In short, it was pure joy.
Of course, I'm thrilled that Will had such an enjoyable experience, and for the most part, so did I. Well, I did get sunburned, sun-poisoning, stung by a jellyfish, and some weird, itchiness on my feet, but I have recovered from all of these ailments. I just didn't realize how tired I would be after this "vacation"! (I'm sure being six months pregnant didn't help.) I've always known that Will was high-energy, but he seemed to take it to new levels on this trip, which makes sense, given the never-ending excitement of lots of people, new experiences, a permanent playmate, and the general absence of rules and routine. Of course he was wound up. Of course he didn't nap and considered eating optional. But still. I had some moments where I thought I would seriously lose all patience, especially when watching Will in comparison to the considerably-calmer (and 5- months-older) Coleman. All I was asking for was a few minutes of quiet. A few minutes of stillness. In the moment, I was completely frustrated, but looking back now, even just a few days later, it doesn't seem like a big deal. I guess that's how memories work, or else we'd never go on another "vacation".
One last thing about the beach...when we were children, I always remember my dad getting frustrated with my sister because she wouldn't just WALK. She would hop, skip, walk backwards, shuffle, jump, run, etc., but she couldn't just walk. At the time, I didn't understand why this irritated my dad so much...I mean, what was the big deal? Let me just say that now I get it. I think Will must have inherited this trait from his aunt, because I don't think I ever saw Will just walking on our trip. He worked on the Will Mather shuffle, he wanted to "jump to sky" as he kept saying, he would walk backwards so he catch one last glimpse of the beach as we were leaving, etc., etc. While these things shouldn't be a big deal, when the walk on the boardwalk takes 30 minutes when it should take five, a mother's patience begins to wear thin. I really wanted to move more than two feet per minute. I really did. As usual, though, it just takes a bit of perspective...how many years will Will want to jump and play, and more importantly, want me to watch? I know these times are fleeting and I know I need to have patience. I'm still working on that.