Monday, July 05, 2010

A break from tradition

1. Touching sand for the first time, 2. Pescadero Beach, 3. Burying Sophie's leg, 4. Pffft...

In years past, Jude and I have typically spent 4th July quietly, usually with a couple of grilled hot-dogs each watching the Coney Island hot-dog eating competition on TV (yes, I know, very meta...) I don't really remember how we spent last 4th July specifically but I do remember watching fireworks at night at a park in Ann Arbor and how Sophie kicked me furiously right around the inside of my belly-button during a string of especially loud explosions. She didn't get to see fireworks for herself this year (the Santa Clara fireworks extravaganza-- which we could see and hear *very* clearly from our apartment-- was way past her bedtime) but we did spend it in a very special part of the state (actually, a very special part of the country), Pescadero Beach, which is about an hour's drive from us. After that weekend in Monterey, we knew we wanted to revisit Highway 1 and one of the beaches we had passed along the way home.

Pescadero did not disappoint- dramatic bluffs on one end and a gorgeous beach on the other. Northern Californian beaches aren't really swimming beaches, unless you're very brave and/or have a wet suit so we mostly sat on the warm sand, squishing it between our toes, and watched Sophie encounter sand for the first time. We knew she would try to eat it and for a while, I hovered around her, valiantly swiping her hands clean every time she grabbed a fistful. After 10 minutes though, I gave up. Instead of me protecting her all the time, she's just going to have to learn on her own that somethings don't taste good and that she shouldn't put them in her mouth. And she did. There were a couple more mouthfuls of pure sand which she sputtered out, and then no more. She decided that there were more pleasant and palatable ways to spend her time. Atta girl!

It was wonderful to just sit on the warm sand and watch Sophie explore this new sensory experience- feeling the grainy warm sand between her toes (which really perplexed her), crawling on sand (which I imagine is hard to do); trying to hold the sand in her hands only to have it fall through her fingers; excavating her leg after we "buried" it, etc. These are all new experiences being seared into her memory. I sometimes forget that we have the power to create her memories. We are the ones who will influence how, what, when she learns what she will learn, see what she will see, do what she will do. And that's a really profound feeling.

Dear Sophie, Mama and Dada have so many more exciting experiences we want to share with you. Are you ready? :)

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