Tuesday, August 02, 2005

Our vacation started off with a bang -- Jeff's sister got engaged on the beach Monday night. We are all pretty much thrilled for her. For some reason, her age (she's only 21) doesn't bother me. I really like her fiancé, for starters, and I can't imagine her finding anyone more compatible or caring. The engagement will be a long one; J is still in college, and they are committed to waiting until she's graduated to get married.

And I get to be a bridesmaid again! The oldest one by far, by the looks of it. I told J that by the time the wedding rolls around I'll be the Botox Bridesmaid.

I have been wondering about the appropriateness of the word "vacation" as a descriptive noun for our trip. I am still in the camp that believes "vacations" are relaxing, fun breaks from everyday life. But a trip to the beach with two toddlers is essentially the same as staying at home, except 10 times harder. We did have fun, but Jeff and I were both exhausted by week's end.

This year, Sean hated the ocean. Unlike last year, when we could barely tear him away from the waves, this time he warily approached the water, stuck one foot in, then darted back toward our umbrella enclave, proclaiming, "I'm scared!" He settled down quickly, and had a grand time digging and encrusting himself with sand.

This "scared" business is new. I don't know if it's just a stage or a new facet to his personality emerging, but Sean sometimes backs away from things more readily now. And more often than not, the reason is that he is scared or the activity is scary. I'm not sure how to approach this -- right now, I acknowledge the initial emotion and don't force the issue; after a while, I try encouraging him again, but if he still resists, I respect that and leave him be. This works for now, but at what point does this approach become enabling?

Anyway. Allie loved the ocean, and keeping up with her proved a formidable challenge. The surf was so powerful that we couldn't let down our vigilance for even a second. Talk about scary.

She didn't have quite the patience Sean did for playing in the sand, but between the two of them, enough sand clung to their bodies and hid in various crevices to provide building material for a life-size sand castle. One word: Yuck. Also, Eww.

I'll leave you with this cute image of Allie napping in Jeff's arms on the beach. It seems she tired even herself out.