Thursday, July 21, 2011

A Day at the Beach

One of the joys of parenting is getting do-overs, getting to re-experience the novelties of life through the eyes of your child. Whether those experiences were joyous or difficult, memorable or non-existent, they have the opportunity to be remembered, shared, and recreated.

I spent a good chunk (pun intended) of my childhood overweight and uncomfortable in my own, and those feelings were amplified in surroundings such as public swimming pools, beaches, and the 1980's where neither pegged pants nor my Flock of Seagulls hairdo made me feel any better about myself. Carrie dealt with similar issues in her childhood, though her fashion sense probably served as a stronger protective factor than mine. Nonetheless, we got each other and support each other's silent boycott of uncomfortable settings.

Now that Amari's here, I realize I have to get over it. I know the way I feel about myself is incongruous with the way I look, but more importantly I can't deprive Amari of experiences that she will no doubt enjoy just because I'm self-conscious. In Tahoe I began the journey of not giving a shit, and took Amari to the community pool in my dad's neighborhood. We had a blast, and I succeeded at feeling comfortable, even confident and proud as my little girl braved the novelty of the biggest pool she'd ever seen.

Today, back at home, we had our first family beach day. Carrie was reticent, but agreed to go. The Gold's joined us and we all enjoyed splashing around in the water, walking on the sand, soaking up the sun, and watching our little people take it all in.

Amari had been to the beach a few times as a pre-walking infant, and she loved it, but since she started walking the sand kind of freaks her out a little. Initially, this time was no different, and she wanted to be carried down to the water. When I tried to put her down on the firm sand, she would raise her feet up and squeal. She had me carry her into a little river by the ocean and walk around for quite some time before she got the courage up to walk along its shore. By the end of the afternoon, however, she was traipsing through streams, climbing up sand banks, and thoroughly exhausting herself.

Besides watching Amari overcome her fears, the highlight of the afternoon was building drip castles with Noah by the water. He's a better architect than I am, but it was nice reminiscing about our early beach days - his in Hawaii and mine thousands of miles away on the west coast of India. It's pretty cool how life brings up together with the people we love.


About a year ago today

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