Tuesday, August 9, 2011

It's Just Sea Mist in My Eyes

Yesterday I said I had a lot of stories and a lot of pictures from my vacation to put into today's entry.  Then I realized that 1) though I am a well-intentioned photographer, I'm bad at actually getting out the camera and using it, so I'm missing pictures of many family members and of basically anything that isn't HR and 2) when you go to the same place every year with the same people and do pretty much the same thing every day, there isn't much to tell. Sure the people come and go in different combinations and the jokes and themes and memories change, but overall, it's beach/family/games/beach/food/cocktail hour/campfire/family/beach/stars ad nauseam. And that's my kind of sickness, baby.

This year was different for me because everything is different with a toddler. For one, he reverted to the default state when he's out of his element: extreme clinginess, specifically to me. Even when Mike was right there, he didn't want to leave my side. It didn't make for the most relaxing time ever, but we worked with it. His sleeping got all kinds of wrecked and we resorted to rocking him to sleep every night and more nights than not he ended up sleeping with us when we went to bed. We're making great strides to correct this already, but let's just say the unfamiliar surroundings did not add up to ideal bedtime conditions for any of us. We probably also hindered his walking progress because a lot of times the ground wasn't quite even and there was nothing reliable for him to pull up on so that was almost two weeks of natural practice he didn't get.

But it was so worth it to me because when, in the span of about 12 days, do most people have the chance to see just about every member of their extended family? Both my grandmothers were represented, and my parents, and my aunts and uncles and cousins and their kids (who I swore I just cradled as newborns and are about to go to middle school or college or, in one case, become parents themselves) and it was a beautiful thing when HR let his guard down and they were able to fawn all over him and get a real opportunity to know him. I look forward to this being a part of his growing up, as it was mine. When I was a kid we only went for one week, and I feel inextricably linked to my family as a result of this intensive time spent together. It can be a lot, particularly on those who weren't born to it, but lucky for me Mike's a good sport and I know that, as long as it's not pouring, he actually enjoys himself.

The weather was mostly gorgeous this year, and we spent a lot of time on the beach, which helped my little city kid unleash his inner dirtball.

He was cuddled within an inch of his life and even enjoyed it sometimes.

He got to fall sleep to the sound of the waves instead of cars and sirens and the neighbors' dog.

Having camped so many times being only responsible for me, this year was tough on me at times, and surely confusing and uncomfortable for him. But I will never look back on it with regret.

It seemed to me that he learned so much in the short time, from how to do a killer elephant imitation to how to blow kisses to how to be patient (as much as a 15-month-old can grasp such a thing). That's due to my sister's influence, mostly, but it felt like he did so much growing up right before my eyes. It's like that every day with a toddler, I guess, but it's important for me to note that for posterity. 12 days can be a long time in a little one's life.

As much as I miss the ocean air and the exploding night sky, I'm happy to be home and settled into our routine once again. But a big thank-you my family for a magical couple of weeks. I miss you all so much, and can't wait to see what next year brings.

1 comment: