Laden with a picnic lunch, plenty of drinking water, towels, sunscreen and a book for me, we made our way to the Port of Manchester park and settled in for several hours of cool breeze and freezing water (I'm turning into my mother...what happened to the little PNW girl who could brave any water temperature just as soon as her limbs went numb?)
Chloe was determined to be buried, but this is as far as they got. I'm not sad about that...
What to do at the beach? Why, draw a tank in the sand, of course!
She was allowed to go to the sixth piling, and she diligently counted each time
Movin' a stick
Nicholas, you can throw mud at your sister, but don't you throw it at kids you don't know!
Nicholas was not allowed to wade out as far as Chloe, but he was determined to pelt her with mud as she stood in the surf, parallel to that sixth piling. Over and over he scooped up a handful of mud from the beach, waded out as far as he was allowed, and with all his might hurled the glob at Chloe. He never did hit her and she, chatting with a new friend, was oblivious to his efforts. You can't say he's one to give up!
Towards the end of the afternoon two older, curly-headed girls hauled themselves onto the pier and took a running jump into the water. This new occupation was not lost on Chloe and Nicholas, and they turned to me in unison with the question plastered all over their sun-browned faces. "Can we?"
I opened my mouth to say no (I'm terrified that they'll get hurt), but I paused mid word. "Why not? Go ahead!" I showed them each where they could jump from, according to their height and swimming abilities, positioned myself within rescuing distance, and let them have at it.
Over and over they climbed onto the dock, backed as far away from the edge as possible, and took a running leap into the water. Nicholas absorbed the landing with his knees and kept his head above water, but Chloe submitted herself entirely, disappearing under the surface with each jump. And each time she disappeared, I held my breath until I saw her wet head reappear.
Within minutes, every kid on the beach lined up to take their leap off the dock, and every parent amused themselves in the shallower water, keeping a watchful eye on their little adventurers.
On the way home, Chloe made an observation. "Heather, your back is so sunburnt!"
"I know," I replied, wincing with the pain and heat as it settled in. "I didn't get sunblock back there."
"Well why didn't you have me do it?" Chloe demanded, and I could hear the disbelief in her voice. Duh, Heather...hello?
"Hehe...I have no idea, Chloe. I should have, huh?"