Dragging kelp at sunset... not a bad way to spend the holidays
Over the holidays the kids were lucky to get some beach time while visting our friends at their Carmel get-away. I spent most of my youth on a San Diego beach so it's fun to watch Ronan and Nieve explore the sand, wind and water as I did decades ago.
Nieve observes how to manipulate wet sand in her hands
Nieve has a conflicted relationship with the beach. She loves manipulating the sand in her hands but she also gets irritated that it's difficult to wipe that sand off. She calles the Pacific Ocean the 'Deep Blue Sea', and she wants to play in it's waters, but she's hesitant because of the strong currents and breaking waves.
The beach makes Nieve a happy little girl
To compromise, Nieve holds my hands and wades out into waist-deep water. When a wave is just about to break over her head she yells, "jump!" and I lift her over the rolling whitewash. She gets the thrill of being in the waves but has her perental safety net in place for security. When she wants to play in the water she asks, "Daddy, take me out to The Deep Blue Sea."
Ronan, just digging
Ronan seems to share none of Nieve's concerns with the beach. He embraces whole body sandiness to the point where it takes us a half hour to remove the sand from his ears during bath time. His creative process is maturing as evidenced by his more thoughtful and elaborate sand structures. Ronan often finds flotsam to be used as building material or ornamentation.
Ronan casts a weary eye towards dogs that may disturb his creation
Ronan is no longer timid around the water, but we don't allow him to wade any deeper than his waist. Central coast currents and waves are strong and unpredictable - they can be dangerous not just to preschoolers but even experience adults. We also have to be vigilant of his thermal regulation as Ronan does not seem to notice when he approaches hypothermia. Even with a wetsuit we need to monitor his hands and feet to determine if he's been in the water too long. Appendages that are puffy & bright pink means it's time for Ronan to get out of the water.
A happy brother and sister before heading to the beach
We're fortunate to live so close to the Pacific. I look forward to many future beach days where Ronan and Nieve are able to explore the ocean further, through swimming, surfing, kayaking, paddleboarding, or diving.