We went down to the beach Saturday where, as the previous week, Charlie asked to have the boogie board strapped to his wrist.
He took off his new blue coat (thanks, PoPo!---yes, my mom and dad continue to supply something like 95% of Charlie's clothes) after stepping onto the sand and piled his sweatshirt and shirt on top of it. It was low tide so Charlie got much further down the beach than last week. The water was cold and, after looking at it for a bit, he turned to Jim and asked to have the board taken off, and then, after re-donning his shirt and sweatshirt, headed back to the car.
As we walked down the sand, we walked past two blonde teenage girls, the older of whom said 'hi' and asked if Charlie had gone in the water. The girls' parents own the duplex across the street from the beach house we had rented for some five years and we've nodded hi's regularly. This was the first time we had seen them in the off-season and vice versa, and the older one asked if Charlie had gone in.
'No,' Jim responded, and explained that Charlie likes to have his board and swimsuit as part of a proper beach experience.
Seeing friends at the beach house was always part of that experience and we were joined at the beach by our friend Hal, who, when we rented a house, always came for a weekend stay.
Hal met us at the spot where Jim and Charlie like to start riding their bikes, and Charlie was all smiles and ran around happily as we got the bikes unloaded.
It was much warmer than we had all bargained for and, after Hal and I had driven some 18 miles down, we stood outside and talked. We hadn't seen Hal in quite a while, since a basketball game at my college last March, when Charlie was not (as he now is) almost Hal's height.
After the ride, we ordered some sandwiches and went to get Hal's car. Charlie and I stayed in the car while Jim and Hal picked up the food and Charlie, processing the changes to our usual beach day routine and all the memories of Hal staying with us at the beach over the years, grabbed and snatched my hand and cried out and was on the verge of launching into neurological storm mode.
He rocked heavily while keeping his seat belt on and yowled and screeched and Jim and Hal reappeared and we did have to say some very hasty good-byes. Charlie cried mightily as we drove and slowly calmed and we got
him a hamburger and fries and I emailed Hal the photo I had taken of him and Charlie and Jim and told him that Charlie had gotten over everything fast and well.
Did I say we're oh so very proud of our boy?
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