Days like this

fitzgeraldKyle was away much of this week for work, unusual and a bit unsettling. None of our routines were quite clicking, waffles were burnt and water bottles lost,  and every night after bedtime the sink was full of dishes even though I was the one who had made dinner.

Today, he was home. He took the afternoon off, powered down the computer, pulled on his sneakers. Together, we all drove over the hill, to our favorite tide pools.

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So. We’d had a long week, and last night was a long night. I read something about letting your kids control their trick-or-treat bounty, and I drank the Kool-Aid, so this morning Lucas ate fifteen fun-size bars and one full-size bag of M&Ms, and then when we got to the shore he decided he didn’t want to get his firefighter boots wet, but he fell into the water and subsequently whined his way down the beach. Jacob yelled at me not to put hermit crabs in his viewing container, only fish!, but we couldn’t catch any fish because their camouflage is like, whoa. There was a strange and serious sign from the park rangers warning us, in all caps, DO NOT PICK UP THE HARBOR SEALS! We participated in eroding the cliffside, surely harmed an assortment of barnacles and anemones despite our best intentions, and got up close and personal with the remains of some seagull’s crab feast.

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But still. We had a zero tide at 4 o’clock, friends there to meet us, a sun so high and warm that if you ignored the long shadows and turned your face to the sky, it felt like summer. Best of all, there was Kyle – looking after Lucas while I got distracted (not)catching fish, emptying the fire fighter boots when they filled (repeatedly) with ocean water, standing calm as the boys balanced along the edge of the continent.

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When the tide turned and started its rush back toward us, we headed in. Driving north on highway 1, everything was gilded with that butterscotch autumn light, and the air was so warm, and we could see the fishing boats coming in. We stopped for chowder and french fries, and got a table on the deck, looking out at the sea. Then out of nowhere, before our food arrived, there were two huge cones of chocolate ice cream. We didn’t order them, but Lucas started licking one before it was even set down, so just like that they were ours, and chocolate was everywhere.

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Later we were walking through the parking lot, the sun low and red and enormous, and Lucas held my hand. His fingers were sticky and warm, and he sighed with pleasure. “I had such a good day,” he said. “I so happy.”

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The little guys and I shared chowder, but Kyle went big with the lobster roll. If lobster is your thing (it is decidedly not mine), I’ve heard this thing is delicious. Enjoy!

pumpkin boys

15 thoughts on “Days like this

    • Ah D, it is not for the faint of heart! The good news is that 1. we only went to about ten houses and 2. his candy is now all gone. But 2.5 years may be younger than the strategy really works for. (J on the other hand still has most of his candy left and has been quite reasonable about both eating it and sharing it with his poor bereft now-candyless brother!) Since we don’t ever have those sorts of treats in our house, there is an awful lot of energy around them – and it is definitely true that we have had no fights or upset around the candy, very different than last year. That said, I’ve been extra stressed this week about putting veg in front of them at every meal … but that’s probably better than fighting with them about candy. It is hard for me to relinquish control of their food, but I do think it makes a lot of sense. And hey, it’s only once a year. They also sorted their candy and put about half into a donate pile “for the troops” (our dentist collects it) – so, that first morning was intense to watch, but that’s also all the candy there was in his bucket.

      • Sounds like it’s working out though, especially for J. I really like the idea of using Halloween candy as a way to teach the kids about eating healthy and self control. Especially since it is just once a year:) Definitely something to keep in mind!

  1. Nico loved trick or treating, but he doesn’t seem terribly interested in the candy part of it yet. We let him try some, but he seems (thank goodness) to forget it exists unless he sees it. He did, however, have mostly cheese for all of his meals today, so, you know…

  2. Beautiful! Can’t believe we get a little Hannah EVERY DAY this month. Lucky us!
    p.s. You *know* you wanted to pick up a harbor seal…

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