2018 Life Logs, Day 218—The Joy of Watching Kids Being Kids
Date: Monday, August 6, 2018
Weather: Sunny and Hot; High 87, Low 72 F
Location: At Home in the Cottage, East Falmouth, MA
This was a special day. Some days there is bickering, some days everyone is grumpy, and some days are joyful. This was one of those days. Sam is eleven and all of a sudden seems so very grown up. Here’s a photo Heather took of Sam with his good friend Sebastian yesterday . . . so handsome and not looking like little boys any more. Today was Sam’s last day of beach swim classes as he heads to Maine tomorrow to spend a week with his Grammy Marti. He has not been taking swim lessons like Jonah and Ollie this summer. Instead, the deal was that he would swim from jetty to jetty every day. He has done that, most of the time without complaining, and he has definitely become a stronger swimmer, as have Jonah and Ollie. So, we celebrated his last beach swim class day by going to Smitty’s to get special treats. Sam wanted a chocolate frappe and Jonah and Ollie wanted watermelon sherbert freezies (like a milkshake). These things are not cheap and there is way more ice cream or sherbert in them than any child needs, but I caved and let them have them and tried to make it clear that this is a really special treat that only happens on very special occasions. Smitty’s is across the street from the Falmouth Public Library and while we were there, Ollie saw his friend Raylan over at the library. On Mondays free lunches are provided for children along with a special performance. Ollie really wanted to go get a lunch and play with Raylan, so Sam and Jonah walked home while I watched Ollie playing with Raylan and Raylan’s cousin Grayson on the hill behind the library. These three had been at the beach together all morning, but you would have thought they hadn’t seen each other for weeks. They were running on the hill as I watched them, and then I looked down to examine a book Ollie had taken from the free pile. All of a sudden it got very quiet and when I looked up to see what they were doing, I saw no little boys. They seemed to have vanished. I walked all around the library and there was no sign of little boys. I went into the library to see if they were there, but they were not. Raylan’s mother went out to help me look for them, and we found them lying in the grass basking in the sun not far from where I had been sitting. They were just quietly soaking in the day, so quietly that I didn’t even see them. Another of those moments of joy. Jonah’s joy today came from throwing a football back and forth in the water with a friend from his swim class and then taking a long walk on the beach with the same friend. It was a low key day that was enjoyed by all. And I feel so blessed to be able to watch the Goldpebbles just enjoying their summer days.
We spent the afternoon at home and the boys played with next door neighbors, Molly and Joey. As I wrote earlier, some days there is bickering and conflict, but today the kids just played with not a single complaint. This was a first! At one point in the afternoon when I was working with Sam to help him gather his clothes to pack, the other kids set up a lemonade stand. I had made lemonade for their picnic lunch, so they used what was left to make a little money. They set it up with no help. In fact, I didn’t even know it until Ollie asked if he could take the pitcher of lemonade to sell.
Tomorrow morning, Heather will take Sam to the bus station in Boston and put him on a bus to Portland, Maine, where Grammy Marti will pick him up. This is a first for Sam and he is so excited. Heather and Jed invited me to stay for dinner tonight to celebrate Sam’s first away from home trip without mommy and daddy. I will have only Jonah and Ollie for the rest of this week and then next week they will head to Maine for week of summer vacation with Heather and Jed.