The past few weeks have been trying.
Jack learned to walk, which I have quickly learned is a joy and a curse.
He is into everything. Things he could never reach are suddenly at his fingertips.
Furniture that he never gave a second thought to is now the perfect place for him to test his climbing abilities. Though every time he takes a step towards me I stare in amazement.
And we gave up the morning nap. Which has not been a smooth transition by a long shot.
Some days he takes a wonderful 3 hour nap and things go smoothly. Other days he sleeps for 45 minutes and the day is longer than I ever imagined it could be.
The other day was one of those long days. Nothing seemed to make him happy. Not Sesame Street, not the swings at the park and mostly not me. I felt defeated.
So I did what I do when I feel defeated. I went to the beach.
Sure it was February, but it was 62 degrees out. I put him in the stroller and walked him to the small beach about 4 blocks from our house.
I grew up at the beach. My parents house is still 2 blocks from the Atlantic Ocean. And whenever things got tough or I needed to clear my head and get some perspective, I went to the beach.
It calmed me and renewed me. It reassured me that the winter wouldn’t last and that problems that loomed large were smaller than I thought.
I would stare at the ocean and suddenly all was right in the world.
I sat Jack down on the sand. Other than a grandmother and her grandson we had the beach to ourselves.
Jack picked up some rocks and ran his fingers through the sand. He was quiet for the first time all day. No fussing, no whining, just the sound of the ocean.
I helped him to his feet and watched as he took a few tentative steps across the sand. There were smiles and there were giggles.