I wrote this about the time we were in South Carolina in 2010. The Roc had such a hard time with his fear of the waves on that trip. There was one day when he did go in a tidal pool and then the tide came in and he had a blast in the incoming waves. When his cousins arrived a couple hours later he had more motivation to stay in the water and play. It was towards the end of the trip, and he didn’t want to go in the ocean again, but I took it as progress in conquering his fear of the waves. If he did it once, he would be able to do it again, even if it took a few years, or longer.
Well, moving across the country meant that it took a few years to get back to the beach.
The Roc kept telling me that he was going to go in the ocean when we got to the beach this year. Over and over we read the book, “Ladybug Girl At The Beach” in the months leading up to our trip. It was a book we had read only sporadically before, but repetitively in May and June. I was hopeful for him, but I wasn’t going to push him and I promised myself I wouldn’t be disappointed if the waves proved too much for him again this year. Based off his repeated declarations about playing in the waves, I thought that this just might be the year he would go in.
The first day at the beach we walked down to a tidal pool, which I knew the Roc would love because he could still play in the water and build sand castles, which he started right away.
Then he laid down in the tidal pool.
Then he laid down in waves!
Then he RAN into the water!
And he ran back and forth, into the water and out, flopping onto his belly and swimming, popping up before a wave crashed over his head, all the while with a grin on his face.
In fact, it seemed that he didn’t stop smiling every day we went to the beach!
Well…it’s not always true that he was smiling. He did get annoyed with my constant photography.
One of the days just him and I were at the beach he worked on building a wall around the tidal pool (I helped some and sat on a beach chair and watched some, a perfect balance. I was glad we practiced at the lake.)
He got a lot of compliments on his creation.
I was so happy to see him let go at the beach. He wasn’t anxious about the waves at all. He ran and splashed in them! He alternated between building sand castles and playing in the ocean. He had fun. He was carefree.
It was what I wanted for him three years ago when we were there.
I didn’t know I just had to wait.
This child is forever teaching me patience.