We had SO MUCH FUN with friends today. This has been the best days of summer so far and I hope there are many more like it to come!
Summer has been a bit slow starting for us we’ve been having a hard time finding a good groove. It seems that we keep missing friends, or they’re away, or we’re committed to something else.
Today I think we found our groove. I sent a friend a text last week asking if she wanted to go for a hike up a local hill that’s very kid friendly and hit the beach afterwards.
Retiring our beloved teapot on the trail – a local tradition on this hike
Last summer we went hiking and/or to the beach with her and her kids at least once a week, but life changes and thus far this summer we just haven’t been able to swing it.
Today we had the joy of hiking with her and her kids in the morning. It was a “short” hike but so good for our kids to all be together again. (The distance isn’t far but when you have three littles walking and one being carried time and distance don’t necessarily correspond.)
E falls in the middle of her two littles and LOVES her older daughter – like idol status. She was SO excited to get to run alongside her friend and try to keep up. Plus she had a new backpack that she’s breaking in for a hiking trip later in the summer with Daddy. L slept or coo’d happily in the baby carrier all the way and all the littles did great.
E and her friend
After our hike we all headed to the beach to meet another friend and her kids for the afternoon. Between the three of us there were eight kids at the beach. Everyone played well together and it was one of those days that you’re loathe to see end. Seriously none of us wanted to pack up and go home.
E made a major accomplishment today, she figured out the basic technique of swimming. This is HUGE for her. While she’s never been shy about the splash pad, pools and especially beaches make her VERY nervous. She’s been in the same FIRST level at swimming lessons ALL WINTER. She loves going but is timid and rarely lets go of her instructor.
We’ve been at the beach two other times so far this summer, the first she didn’t go in past her knees. Then she was holding my hand and SCREAMING (I forced her in to wash the sand off before leaving. I know I’m a horrible mother).
Last week when we were there as a family she wouldn’t go in unless one of us was holding her, and refused to go further than chest deep water. She did eventually relax and at least enjoy it.
I didn’t expect her to embrace swimming so soon after the last two trips. I figured we were in for another summer of playing in the and by the shore in ankle deep water (this is FINE with me, I just want her to be safe and comfortable around water not necessarily an all star swimmer).
Today right away she wanted me to take her in.
SWIMMING! I know it’s shallow but I promise she wasn’t pushing off the bottom 🙂
Maybe it was seeing her friends jumping off the dock and swimming around on their own. Maybe it’s the crazy heat wave we’ve been having. Maybe it’s the frequency of swimming right now (lessons once a week and at least one trip a week to the beach) or a combination of the three. Who knows.
If I know anything about my girl it’s that she’ll DO IT when SHE wants to. Not one second before and no time later than she decides is ok either.
Today she actually held my shoulders and let me swim her out to the end of the dock. She also let me hold her in the swimming position in shallow water. I was impressed just by those things.
It’s like it just clicked for her. All of a sudden she understood how she should be positioned and how she needed to move her arms and legs. I had to go in to shore to feed L, but she still wanted to swim. So in knee deep water she figured it out. SO FUN.
It was so fun to watch because she would swim the length of the swimming area in knee deep water, then get out, run back to where she started and do it again. It never occurred to her that she could turn around and swim back.
She repeated the cycle for about an hour and a half and I had to pry her out of the water to go home. She was so proud of herself, and I am a proud mama tonight too. I love that kid!
Best things ever today: her contagious giggles as she RAN down the hiking trail after her friends, and the equally elated giggling that came with figuring out how to swim.
We ended our day today by taking Curtis to the garden we’ve been “keeping” at a friends place. – I say this very loosely because I have a hard time growing grass in our yard, and tonight I realized that I can no longer distinguish some of the weeds from the plants that are supposed to be there – oops.
It was a perfect summer’s day. After so much fun with friends, I’m sad to see this day end. It was jam packed with hiking, swimming, gardening, playing and visiting yet it didn’t feel crazy rushed or busy. This is exactly what summer days should be. To top it off, my house is pretty clean – we haven’t been here all day!
Hope you had a great day too, and that there are many more sunny summer days to come 🙂