Letters To My Sons | July

“The Peach and The Pit of our 4th of July Trip”

Well boys, let’s start first with The Pit. In keeping with our usual tradition we arrived at Greenwich Beach during low tide, with nobody around except the sandboni driver and a few predawn swimmers clad in their wetsuits. Even the parking attendant said, “I see we’re getting an early start today!”

You always love having the beach to yourselves: dancing across the sand ribbons, splashing in the shallows, foraging for hermit crabs. But you weren’t dancing for too long Cash before you came walking back toward the shore. First I thought you needed to use the bathroom, until you put your hand on my shoulder for balance, lifting your foot to show blood pouring from several slash marks. While you usually just let me know of any injuries since I am less of an alarmist, I quickly called Daddy to come help. As he carried you to our cabana, draped across his arms, I was reminded of Michelangelo’s Vatican Pieta; a visual testament to a parent’s love and strength.

The sandboni driver called out that he’d unlock the first aid office and to follow him. Apparently he remembered us from last summer. I mean who could forget the early bird family with the blue and white striped cabana he has to circumvent as he combs the empty beach?!

You emerged, gauze tightly wrapped around your foot, with a thumbs up and semi-smile to let me know things were were on the rise. Sadly though you wouldn’t be going back in the Long Island Sound. At least not this trip.

“Such a shame too since you guys literally just got here!" said the sandboni Samaritan. “I know though, I’ve got two boys myself….and it’s always something!”

I only captured a few photos of you in the water, happy and carefree, before the incident. And we never did find out what cut the bottom of your foot. But you were such a trooper, and instead of leaving the beach, you hunkered down in the cabana with your foot propped on a beach bucket, so as not to take away from Grey’s enjoyment. We all know that of the four of us, Grey is the die-hard beach lover! So you draped your towel over your head to cut the glare on your Nintendo screen and played games while Grey carried on in the sand.

Though you wouldn’t go back in this water, the good news was that you could go swimming later in the other water, aka our hotel pool.

Which brings me to The Peach of our trip!

Grey, you reached a new level in your swimming! You’ve been taking lessons for a minute now, but something clicked for you this weekend and you COULD NOT BE STOPPED! “Mommy, stay there! I’m going to swim to you!” I must have heard this said a thousand times. And if you weren’t swimming to me, you were swimming to Daddy or Cash, showing how for the first time you could reach the other side, completely submerged, without choking on water or inhaling it by accident. Rising to the surface with the biggest of grins, you’d make sure at least one of us was watching.

We stayed in the pool all afternoon, and for the first time, as a family, went back in after dinner until its closing. For some reason we have the ability to clear out a pool no matter where we go, and this time was no different. We allowed you to use your squirt guns to attack each other, since we were the only ones in the water, laughing hysterically as you hit your target. “They remind me of growing up with my older brother,” a guy sitting nearby said, “We’re two years apart and we used to play fight EXACTLY like that!”

Adding to the Peach of our trip was the resurgence of your joy Cash as shown by not one but TWO thumbs up! “Mommy, even though the beach didn’t go as planned, I still had fun swimming in the pool!”

Just this morning, you showed me the bottom of your foot where only a faint red line remains. It has healed nicely over the past couple of weeks, leaving behind a memory of a day at the beach that we can talk for years to come.

Like I told Pow Pow recently, our family has crossed into a new realm of low-stress family travel. It’s filled with inside jokes and pinch pokes, hijinks and sarcasm, doubled over belly laughs, injuries and apologies … and most of all, full volume singing of Kidz Bop in the car regardless of any unexpected Pits.

So here’s to more summer days, with both their peaches and their pits; and your ability to love, forgive, heal and laugh — somehow finding a way to emerge with two thumbs up!

I love you both so much.

Always and forever,