We just returned from a weekend away at our favorite beach house on Whidbey Island. I’ve written about this magical place several times before, and posted a million IG photos (#theboathouse). Our good friends are gracious hosts and their hospitality provides the most cherished and memorable adventures for our kids. It is for sure their most favorite place to be.
I love the boat house for many reasons, but lingering at the top is watching the boys be boys. They have complete freedom. They can roam the endless beach collecting shells and digging for sea creatures. They cut down branches and make paths through the woods and whittle sticks with their pocket knives. They shoot bb guns and practice with their bows & arrows. They kayak or paddle boat and swim in the freezing cold water. They build forts and bon fires and swing on a hammock.
See what I mean? It’s a boy’s delight.
Usually, after breakfast is over and with the kids happily occupied, I spend my days lounging on the deck or beach chatting with our friends, occasionally glancing through a magazine or reading a book. It’s a pretty dreamy day for me as well.
But every once in a while, I make an effort to play with the boys. Since Audrey is the littlest and basically my shadow, I find I get lots of time with her, but the boys don’t always get undivided mom-time doing what they love to do.
And the number one thing they love to do at the beach?
Dig deep holes. Build dams. Divert the stream.
With shovel in hand, these boys are happy for hours.
And so, on this particular day, I dug.
Dug deep holes. Built dams. Diverted the stream. Dug until I had blisters on my hands and had completed the best sand fort ever.
Midway through our digging, No.1 looked up at me and said, “mom, thanks for being this kind of mom.”
And that made missing out on deck-sitting time and those blisters on my hands totally worth it.
Sometimes speaking your child’s language looks like wielding a shovel with jeans rolled up and bare feet.