Friday, June 17, 2005

Mother Ocean

Well, Daring Dayton finally made it into the ocean. In Pacific Grove, CA there is a wonderful crescent shaped beach protected from the wind and weather by Lover's Point. Toward the end of a long stressful day, we wandered down there for a half hour of sun, sand, and collllldd-d-d-d ocean currents.

At first, he played with the sand in the time honored fashion: thrusting his little hands into piles of it and making fists full of sand then hurling it into the air with a yell. Mommy and Daddy stood around with cousins and felt vaguely envious. We weren't really equipped to get fully into the beach scene, but Daring Dayton was wearing his jams, and and had bare feet so he was set. We waited to see how long it would take before he headed toward the waves. After about five minutes of sand hurling, he stood up and stared at the ocean and shreiked, just on general principle, then wandered toward the surf line. I wandered over there with him and he had his first experience at running away from the half inch deep foam. He was into the game from the start, shreiking and laughing and sprinting at top speed for the dry sand as the sets came in. For me it was no game since I still had my shoes on. At some point, curiosity took over and Daring Dayton lived up to his name as the edges of the northern Pacific Ocean washed over his feet. The look of alarm was immediate and classic, but it was quickly replaced by a grin, as he proceeded to pound the water with the flat of his hands and get completely soaked. By this point my shoes were off and I was fighting the urge to take off my shirt, hand my wallet and keys to my Wife, and hurl myself into the drink. The water was calm, and the waves were cresting at about 6 inches. Perfect. However, I limited it to bare feet and nothing ever felt so good in living memory. After a day of toting around the effects of a recently deceased uncle, letting the salt water wash over my toes, and watching Daring Dayton laughing and yelling and splashing and falling over was all I could've asked.

We regretfully retrieved the tyke after about 20 minutes because we had to get back to Richmond. He was soaked and had weird little black sand particles plastered to his skin and his diapers were full of sand, but he was blessed by King Neptune and he was Salty. A perfect end to our little vacation.


Blogger Roy said...

Tell Daring Dayton he's my man!

8:41 PM  
Blogger Don said...

Oootstanding! Shrieking, splashing, salty. And sand in diapers. He has squinted at the flat horizon, and when a lad full grown will long for the endless immensity of the sea.

10:18 PM  
Anonymous Wiggy said...

We've been waiting impatiently for a post from you, Harry!

Dayton sounds adorible and has about the coolest name I have ever heard on this planet earth.

The beach is my fav rav; he and I would get along fab.

How oddly bittersweet your story is for me, though. As you are celebrating the speckles of sand in Dayton's diaper, I have just returned from a send-off dinner for my son who will be doing a graduate research assignment in Los Alamos for the summer.

And, I still remember the sand in the diaper days. And I still kissed him on the top of the head as he walked out the door to leave even though he had to bend down as I stood on my tip toes. Sons are wonderful, aren't they?

1:43 AM  
Blogger Don said...

a send-off dinner for my son who will be doing a graduate research assignment in Los Alamos for the summer

That is just the coolest thing. Distance is sad; but what an awesome reason for it!

9:39 AM  
Blogger Harry said...

Roy, I will pass on that honor. He really dug the beach and the surf. What a scene! He will indeed squint seaward one day, spit down wind, and mutter "Garn!" I can't wait.

Wiggy, I agree with Hip. It's tough to let your son go, but what a great trip. That could turn into some incredible opportunties. What's his field?

10:09 AM  
Anonymous Wiggy said...

Harry, he is a Ph.D. student at UC Davis, studying computer graphics and scientific visualization. (His undergrad degree was Computer Science & Engineering.)

He's shown me some of his work - which looks fascinating and sounds fascinating and I'm sure is fascinating, but I rarely understand a word he says.

I was so excited when he applied for the position and then really excited when he was accepted - and guess who is now going to Los Alamos this summer for a vacation?

1:47 PM  

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