Dear Owen and Sydney,
We have spent so much time at the beach this summer. Around 4:00 in the afternoon we put on our suits, pack a dinner and pile into the minivan armed with pails and shovels. When Daddy is home, he joins us.
Some nights we have stayed long enough to see the sun set and the stars shine. You have skinny dipped under the moon, and understood how vast the ocean really is when the sun is not around to define it.
We have run and laughed and I have kissed your salty bodies more this summer than any other. I find it to be true that the ocean has an immediate and calming affect on me. And fortunately, this seems to true for both of you.
As your dad and I sit in our blue beach chairs that double as back packs, we watch you run with each other and bury your feet in the sand. Our commentary centers on how blessed we are to be your parents and that you have the two best personalities of any people that we have ever met. You both make our family so much fun.
Last night it became colder much earlier and you were both blue by the time we removed your bathing suits and wrapped those precious and still so little bodies in your towels. We carried each of you all the way back to the van.
Enduring the cold was worth it though, we had our second exceptional ocean side sighting last night! As we approached the water we saw little objects that looked like ice cubes. Thousands of them. Except when I picked them up they were squishy. Seeing my confusion, another dad who was near me told me that they were baby jelly fish! Hurricane Irene must have delivered them to our shore, and today we will go to the Nature Reserve to find out how they got there, and for how long they will stay.
Our first exceptional sighting was earlier this summer when we saw a Seal Pup. He was the cutest little thing and we were within a foot of him (which I did not learn until later is dangerous for the pup). He used his fin just as a puppy would use his paw to rub his sleepy eyes.
We stood watching him for nearly an hour, and we all were amazed to be so close to something who lives in the place that we love so much! He was perfectly fine (an aquarium official had visited to make sure) and was simply sunning himself in the sand.
At the end of our time at the beach last night you came up to daddy and I and said “I hear with my little ear…an ICE CREAM TRUCK!” Our laughter in appreciation of your adorable delivery was genuine. And when we told you that we were not getting ice cream you said “That’s okay. I understand”. Ugh!
We arrived home and all slept well after having a night of salt air and relaxing family time. I fell asleep recalling your laughter and joy from the sand and waves. I am certain that your dad did too.
When you become a parent you will understand that there is nothing that instills a greater sense of inner peace than the genuine happiness of your child. This summer we have learned that time at the beach gives this to all of us.
As the weather told us last night, our evening oceanside picnics are now numbered. And next summer will, of course ,be different. You both will be older and another year will have passed. Your bodies will be bigger, your speech clearer, and your strides longer. You will know more and require less.
It is hard for me to think that I ever desired either of you require less from me. Having your bodies reliant on physical proximity to me is something a part of me wishes we could always have.
For now, I will soak up your smiles and laughter and absorb them rather than the suns rays. I will inhale our moments, understanding that so many will never be recalled.
Most importantly though Owen and Sydney, I will thank God for these amazing and unique memories that we have. I will likely not remember the jellyfish babies, but surely will recall my babies wonder at the site of them. The Seal Pup may not be etched in our memory forever, but witnessing your excitement and appreciation of the wild on that beautiful summer day at the beach, is already a part of me.
I love you both so very much.