Portrait of Play, Week 15

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We got to spend some time during spring break on the beach. It was cool but sunny enough to feel hot at times. The water was more than chilly, but the kids could still get into it and play for a bit. I couldn’t get enough of watching Winnie walk around on the beach. She would toddle over to the water and plop herself into it and then move her hands around in the water and sand. It was very windy, but she kept her balance, her thighs anchoring her down. She was equal parts snot, sweat, sand, and salt, and I kept giving her a pacifier to keep her from eating the sand and the snot. She loved finding sticks along the beach, and she would wave them wildly as she walked around. Besides the fact that she had a hard time taking naps, she was much easier to have on the beach than I expected this time around. Charlotte was tough to track down. She sees herself as one of the big kids so much these days and was trying so hard to ride a bike and to swim on her own to keep up with the others. I sense that she’s going through another surge of independence as her behavior has been increasingly challenging. It seems like every time she goes through a growing up spurt, she pushes off of me hard. It also seems like she is experiencing intense feelings of both love and frustration and dislike towards Winnie lately as she too has made another shift towards greater independence. After running around with the older kids, Charlotte curled up on Stacy’s lap. She was clearly very tired, but when questioned about it, she said, “No, I’m just thirsty,” as she noisily sucked her thumb and fell asleep. Thank goodness for aunties, who are there to make you feel special and let you wear your big cousin’s beach cover up, totally making your day. And thank goodness for friends and family who can be your village through the good and the ugly parts of parenthood and marriage, who are generous beyond reason, and who are a whole lot of fun to be around.

I’ll be sharing more images from the beach trip soon.

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