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a day at the beach with my little nieces, and what a tonic

Posted by nancy s. on 11/23/03 at 17:33 (138486)

hi everyone. my brother came up to visit my dad in the hospital today, and brought his two little girls (sophie, 6, and maya 3) with him. i had the huge pleasure of watching and playing with the girls while he went to the hospital.

what a great day! i didn't have children of my own, and these are the only children in my immediate family -- so spending time with them takes me into another world, a terrific world of imagination and discovery.

we spent almost two hours at the beach, a block away from our house. sophie danced near the water, collected shells (and 'evil seaweed'), asked questions i would expect from maybe a 35-year-old, and drew 100 pictures in the sand. maya, whom they adopted from cambodia two and a half years ago, is also a beautiful child. having spent her first year of life in an orphanage in cambodia, malnourished and hearing no english, maya is still adjusting to life here and making her own way in her development. she clung to my hand the entire time. but she's becoming more talkative and expressive now. she loved the seagulls, and every ten minutes or so she said, 'aunt nancy, aunt nancy, i like the beach, i like the beach.' six months ago she couldn't even say my name and would get tired of the beach in about 20 minutes.

the three of us ran from the incoming tide, oh, maybe 89 times, screaming in pretend fear and real delight. (but hey, those waves today actually were BIG!)

what a tonic. and that's the only reason i'm posting this. i'm exhausted, but they were such a tonic. i'd welcome this kind of exhaustion any day of the week.

i hope others have had some kind of tonic this weekend! my feet suffered a bit, being out there for so long, but i just sat down in the wet sand and rested them. all of us were soaking wet by the time we came home. we didn't care.

happily yours,

nancy
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Re: a day at the beach with my little nieces, and what a tonic

Suzanne D. on 11/23/03 at 20:07 (138504)

How nice, Nancy! Sophie and Maya sound quite delightful! I love the imagination of children. It is sad that many people lose their imagination and their wonder of the simple things in life as they get older. I feel blessed to be surrounded by that wonder every day. Teaching is hard work, and sometimes it takes every ounce of patience that I can muster, but the rewards are worth it. And those times when I feel like I am 'at one' with the children - as you were with your neices on the beach today - are the treasured times.

Suzanne :)

Re: a day at the beach with my little nieces, and what a tonic

marie on 11/23/03 at 20:11 (138506)

Kids are cool! Plain and simple. I am so delighted that you took the time to spend the day with them. FUN! THEY WILL ALWAYS REMEMBER.

I spent the day trying to organize for Christmas. I have discovered I have way, way to much stuff. Have you seen the show called 'Clean Sweep'? I think I need their help. I have been distracted with foot pain for so long that I hadn't noticed how out of control our closets and business space has become. UGH.

I did find my Santas. It took alot of digging. I haven't even started looking on the 3rd floor. Slowly but surely the house will come together for Christmas. Hopefully by Christmas day.

Sometime this week I am going to photograph the rooms at the historical museum next door. There are eleven trees in the house. The preview I got today, from a close friend who creates each tree, was SPECTACULAR. I will post the photos.

Re: a day at the beach with my little nieces, and what a tonic

Lari S. on 11/23/03 at 21:16 (138517)

What a great way to spend the day! Children are such blessings. I sure hope your dad is feeling better. I'm sure the visit with your brother did as much for him as your day with the girls did for you (and them). I am keeping my fingers crossed for your dad. My dad swears that the surgeon left the knife in when they did his hernia operation on the 18th.
Lari

Re: a day at the beach with my little nieces, and what a tonic

Lari S. on 11/23/03 at 21:25 (138518)

Marie, when 'Clean Sweep' finishes at your house, can you send them to mine? Please, please, please! [-o< My only stipulation is that they CAN'T touch my Christmas stuff. I have over 400 Santas, and it usually takes me 2-3 weeks to decorate (in a good year). I'm thinking that I should have started decorating last January at the rate I'm moving now. My husband is starting to worry that I won't get anything up this year even though he has complained in years past that he can't even go to the bathroom without Santa giving him the evil eye.
Lari

Re: a day at the beach with my little nieces, and what a tonic

nancy s. on 11/24/03 at 05:04 (138528)

thanks, lari. i hope your dad is doing ok except for the pain? mine just started refusing the pain meds two days ago (on day 9) because he gets more mixed up, mentally, on them, but he's still having quite a lot of pain and bloating (the latter because his digestive system still hasn't kicked in and started functioning properly).

my sister told me a comical little anecdote, from her work as a visiting nurse. one of her patients also had a lot of bloating after abdominal surgery, and my sister commented on it. the woman said, 'yeah, i think they left a nurse in there.'

best wishes to you and your family for a full recovery after their surgeries.

nancy
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Re: a day at the beach with my little nieces, and what a tonic

nancy s. on 11/24/03 at 05:15 (138529)

they are delightful, yes. and you're right, you are blessed to be surrounded by the wonder in children every day, suzanne. (although i know, even just from yesterday, that it can involve a certain amount of fatigue, too! -- but well worth it). you put it perfectly: i felt 'at one' with them yesterday.

i see them infrequently enough that every single time i spend with them is special. i never forget a time. yesterday sophie drew me two pictures after we got back from the beach: one is of her and me, standing close beside each other. the other is a big close-up of a seal's face. she asked me to keep them on the refrigerator ALWAYS so i won't forget that day. she plans to check that they're still here every time she visits! i promised to do that -- and i will.

nancy
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Re: a day at the beach with my little nieces, and what a tonic

Kathy G on 11/24/03 at 10:07 (138536)

Nancy,

I love that comment from your sister's patient! I hope your dad doesn't experience needless pain and takes the pain meds, at least at night, so he can get needed sleep. but I can certainly understand where he's coming from. For elderly people, the doseage has to be adjusted because they do become more confused and sleepy. And let's face it. The older we get, the more it scares us to be confused. Unless you're like me. I've been confused my entire life! My daughter claims that if I ever get senile, no one will notice any difference!:)) (Not PC, I know, but it's funny!)

I'm glad you enjoyed the time with your nieces. Children are the antidote for frustration and weariness. They allow us to see everything through their eyes. And, yes, they sure can tire you out!

Glad the weather cooperated. What a beautiful weekend!