when you are having as much fun as we've been having. We went to Tahoe last Wednesday night and I am so glad we left for the holiday weekend early. I had Jake's aide at the house keeping the kids busy while we packed the car, Descartes still worked a full day and it only took us 4 hours to get there so we still had an evening with grown ups once we got there.
We went to the beach on the third. Baldwin beach, where we baptized little Lucy (that seems like a hundred years ago...). It was so great to have Jake be happy, happy and comfortable in/near the water and in the sand (since sorting earth has been a recent favorite past time of his). He waded into the lake, smiled a lot and didn't steal any toys from small children (once we gave him his own shovel). Lucy was very excited, and I am proud to say that as much as she really likes her Sugar Plum Fairy ballet costume, she was even more eager to chase the minnows in the lakeside stream. "It tickles!" she exclaimed loudly enough for the minnow to swim away.
It is a personal goal of mine to raise a daughter who is just as comfortable in hiking boots as she is in high heels. I am also hoping she can easily tie a tippet to the leader, tie a bow tie and tie an apron. Somehow right? She can choose who she wants to be, but I want her to learn all the parts so she can know what she is and isn't choosing. Does that make sense? Anywhoo. I was thrilled then when the a couple of days later, Lucy stood there in a little dress calling for me to check out the biggest ant she'd ever seen. That's my girl. No Lucy leave the ant alone he doesn't need to be on your finger...
It was tiring at the beach, the sun, the altitude, ensuring that one of us was with each kid at all times. They can't really be managed by one person right now. Not with water and parking lots and other families. Descartes was able to give Jake some physical space and let him get about 3 yards away. I let him get to about 5 yards at one point. It's hard to give him the space and independence he so desires without putting us too far back should he need us, quickly as he sometimes does. We're trying, and I know he had a really good time. Of course we should have left 5 minutes earlier, which would have been just a few minutes after I said to Descartes, "We should go, it's probably about time for Jake to poop, and I don't want to deal with the swim diaper." Ah. If I could only listen sometimes...perhaps that will be a gift I receive in my 40s. That part of the day sucked with a capital SUCK, but I carry wipes and nitrile gloves and baggies and extra pull ups and clothes and a loving husband who is willing to grab any one of those things, or hold a struggling kid even when I use my highly-directive voice. It worked out just fine.
We went for a bike ride on the Fourth of July. It was pretty much a perfect day. We moved much faster than vehicular traffic that's for darn sure, and the kids had a giggly, napping sort of time. We rented trailers and bikes because we had been too tired to bring our own, but, as it turns out our bike trailer for Jake is actually a lot taller, longer and perfect for him. His head stuck out the rented trailer so he had no sun shade, and with a flick of his foot his toes could just reach Descartes' back tire. Let me tell you how (not) awesome it is to watch your hypotonic child throw his foot over the edge of the bike trailer, have his gigantor size 4 shoe get caught under the bar and have his ankle roll around until his foot popped back out. I was riding behind the boys, with Lucy in my trailer, and I was fairly certain that not only was I going to watch my son's foot fly off, but I was possibly going to run it over, thereby making my life truly a horror story. With fairly constant "reminders" Jake stayed inside the trailer doing wacky things like nearly lying on his back with his feet at the top,tapping his feet on the bar that attaches the trailer to the bike, and occasionally flipping his $60.00 shoes off. The good news is that the ice cream at Camp Rich was cheap. $2.50 for a huge HUGE kid's scoop, and that pretty made much made us forget that it was really scary. We will probably do it again.
Saturday we went to the South Lake Tahoe rec center park which is all gated-in HURRAH! I am so happy that people have figured out that parents feel safe when their kids can't run into the parking lot. It has a terrific play structure and swings and a volleyball court, and picnic tables. Lucy went on the big kid swing for the first time; all by herself with no back-up. I teared-up of course. She never really was a baby, but she is just catapulting past the milestones.
Jake spent a lot of time watching everything, sifting through the bark and sand. It is so hard sometimes to help him engage. I took him up on the play structure (something he does on his own at school)but he got panicky before I could help him on the slide. Perhaps he does have some depth perception issues? He did sit really happily cuddled against me on a park bench for a while. That was crazy. It is so uncommon for Jake to sit and cuddle that Jaster and Demanda stayed back, afraid to interrupt the mood. It made me feel very close to him at just the right moment. I have been missing him lately, all the while spending more time than I normally do with him. How is it possible for me to understand him so intimately, guess so many of his needs, and feel so distant from him.
note to self: I need to make a list of the things I know make Jake happy, things we can do together since it is all too easy to let him go off on his own, scattering pebbles and sifting the bark out of my flower beds.
We had such a nice weekend it was hard to leave, but managed to get it together and head home early Saturday evening. Once again we skipped most of the traffic. Lucy was so tired she whined a lot of the way. Jake just smirked in her direction.