I was watching my girls playing at the beach today.
As different as night and day, they both had such an amazing time.
Jill tore right into the water, running at full speed into the waves squealing at the top of her lungs. She danced and jumped in the water, her smile leading her into each new crest.
Cait scrunched her nose up at the water and toddled back up the beach to dig in the sand. As she played she noticed the way each grain of sand felt as it rolled onto her hand, foot, knee. When she did come to water she would not go any deeper than her toes. When the wave splashed up her leg she cried out and turned back up the beach.
I loved seeing the joy in Jill's whole being as she dove and splashed in the water. She dug in the sand filling a bucket and turning it over to make a castle. Three seconds later she was tromping right through her castle a delighted giggle bursting from her.
At these times I see her as still such a little girl. Her chubby little knees. Her belly that still holds a bit of its roundness. In these moments I think that maybe I expect too much from her. Behaviour that is still beyond what she can do.
Cait sat on my lap (she was not going any closer to the water than she had to be) and played with the muck. She was fascinated by how it moved and glooped off the shovel. She needed to taste it (twice) and see what it felt like when it was rubbed on her arms, legs, face, belly.
She is slow and methodical. She really takes the time to experience each new thing. She dug her toes into the sand and spent the longest time watching the water lap at her leg and swish the sand around her ankle. She tested pulling her foot out just a little and then sticking it back in the mud. I could see the sand moving above where her foot and I knew that she was feeling the sand and water squish through her toes.
This is my idea of heaven. Sitting in the sun watching my daughters play and be themselves. Watching and sharing in the pure bliss of having fun.