Monday, August 13, 2007

Getting ready to embark

Getting ready to embark

This was one of many pictures I took of the kids at the beach today.

Believe it or not, we've been here for a week and we hadn't gone to the beach. Because ... for a variety of reasons, we're not such enthusiastic beach goers.

For one thing, they're 12 and 10, but the kids only learned to swim this summer. This was the natural byproduct of Asperger's stubbornness on their parts, and throw-in-the-towel pick-your-battles slacker parenting on mine. There, I said it. My kids have neuro-behavioral problems, and sometimes I don't deal with them as thoroughly or as promptly as I should.

Their not being able to swim meant that "constant vigilance!" was the byword whenever we went anywhere where they could drown. And that's not very relaxing.

Then there's the whole pack the car with the towels, sunscreen, snacks, water toys, reading material, sand chairs, and it seems to go on and on and on. And then finding a place to park, and trudging on and on in the blazing sun.

And then when we get there, my husband and I feel fat and pale, as though someone had moved a rock and exposed us to the sun, while we wriggled feebly in protest.

(it's paragraphs like that that make me realize all the money that was spent on my many degrees in English literature was, in fact, completely wasted.)

So let's move away from the extremely hideous verbal picture I painted, and on to the actual real life digital picture I posted.

This is my kids getting ready to get into the water with their boogie boards. I decided I wanted to take a picture of them, so my daughter is walking towards me to pose, whereas my son is still doing something or other to his board.

And far away in the water, so tiny that you can hardly see her, is my niece.

My niece is a normal 12-year-old girl. She can swim, she has friends, she goes on sleepovers.

My sister pretty much had to drag her out of the house today. She was sullen. She didn't want to go out. She wanted to stay indoors and watch television.

But we went out, and my kids were in the water for a while. They didn't get into the water as quickly, and they didn't go as far out as their cousin, but they went in. And they had a good time.

This isn't just a vacation snapshot. It's their life. And you know what? It really isn't that bad.


  1. Since they are the only kids you have, they may be more "normal" than you realize.

    With just a couple of sentences, you have succeeded in taking all the romance out of the beach.
    Who says that degree is wasted?

  2. The photos are great!

    As for your niece vs. your kids, what qualifies as normal? Your kids are happy and clearly having a good day in the sun.

    As for the swimming thing, no need to be apologetic. They're your kids and you're likely doing what they need when they need it, and it's no one else's business what does or does not happen.

    Between the two of them, my girls have Tourettes Syndrome, obsessive compulsive disorder, and ADHD. (Not even remotely the same as what you deal with, I know, even though they're all neurological.) We focus on what needs to be dealt with and other things fall by the wayside until later. And, we do it our way and not worry about what others think. (Well, hopefully not too much.)

    Your trip sounds wonderful!

  3. Sounds like the very same beach excursions we experience. Add the hot, the sticky and the stinging insects, and - I'm not going today, either!
    And I do believe you've snapped The Christmas Photo. I'm sure the Poppettes would be proud to see that one brandished about amongst friends and relatives.
    And your advanced degrees were definitely not wasted as you've captured Beach perfectly.

  4. But YAY! because even though it might have taken longer, they've gotten their feet wet!


    PS. Poppettes legs are longer than mine already and that's JUST WRONG.

  5. 1. Yes, like Susie, I immediately noticed how long Poppette's legs are and thought what a heartbreaker she'll be in a couple of years... if not sooner.

    2. Speaking as someone who grew up swimming in the Atlantic every summer from when I was three until I was 21 and moved to the West Coast, it doesn't matter how long it took to learn to swim and get in the water. What's important is that they have now taken the plunge.

    It's the fond memories of the beach and summers and lobstahs in NH that Poppette and Young Master Buxom will carry with them through the rest of their lives, despite any pale, flabby, parental feeble wriggling.

    As a kid, I used to prefer the quick walk to the pool and would piss and moan about going to the ocean instead. All the packing and carrying and hauling—I HATED it!

    Of course once we got there, my parents couldn't drag me out of the water.

    And I still get back to swim in the Atlantic every chance I get.

  6. Meanwhile, NTS, happily inhabiting the othah cornah of the spectrum, has to be dragged away from undertows and monitored lest he go bite a barracuda.


  7. But hey, if NTS goes de hombre a hombre with a barracuda, my money's on NTS. And he could swim when he was still a tadpole.

    But it's good. THEY CAN FLOAT! And even swim a little. And they WANTED to go to the beach, unlike their sullen cousin and flabby pale parents.

  8. NTS could swim before he could swim.

    Now he likes floating face down.

    And sneezing saltwater at people.

    And cramming sand into his trunks.

    The father of your grandchildren, he is.


  9. Poppy..Go for it. Tony Atwwod says for Asp. kids swimming is one for the great motor skills for them and once they enjoy the water there is no going back. It is calming and lovely and FUN! In the winter my friend's son LOVES his Friday night pool time at the Y and it has turned into wonderful family time.

  10. I really miss the days when none of my kids would go beyond the first line of breakers. Because I have a horrible grasp of probability. And I assume that the one riptide drowning of the year at our particular beach will be one of our kids. Or that the one shark that shows up will choose one of my kids as a snack.

    Of course, I still find things to worry about when they play in the sand. Like the kids whose sand holes collapse in on them and they smother to death before anyone can dig them out.

    I wish I didn't know how to read, you know?


Gentle Readers:

For the time being, I've turned off comment moderation. Please don't spam; it's not nice.

xxx, Poppy.