Saturday, July 14, 2012

First Time in the Ocean


Like a stone spreading ripples out in concentric circles on a still pond. Ten+ families with twins and triplets splashed down on the shore at Point Pleasant, NJ spreading rings of chaos, noise and fun for all lucky enough to see it. The ocean tried to beat back the children who dared challenge its sea weed filled strength, but those little crawlers and stumbling walkers giggled and smiled with each wave and splash of water.

Our little Ruthie literally had the time of her life and laughed and smiled from ear-to-ear with every crashing wave. It was absolutely amazing to see how you can appreciate the pure joy of a child in complete bliss as she was knocked over and tossed around by the sea. My wife and I had never seen our often cranky and sometimes whiny daughter so happy. People speak of how they can relive the simple joys of life through their children, but until you are sitting on the water line as the high tide comes in and the waves get bigger and bigger and all you hear is laughter coming from the one-year-old on your lap, that concept is just an abstract idea. Today my wife and I got to relive the first moment we ever played in the ocean through our two little babies and it was fantastic.

Ethan took a little longer to warm up to the big ocean crashing down at his ankles and had no interest in racing after it with the gusto of his sister. After a short while, though, he relaxed to the idea of the enormous moving swimming pool we had taken him to and crawled right in to the fray with Ruthie.

Back at base camp was a collection of some of the most well-equipped families ever seen at Pt. Pleasant, NJ. The preparedness of these families of multiples rivaled that of most military first responder units. There were strollers with enormous over-sized wheels to handle the rough and sandy terrain. There were great big pop-up tents, enormous beach blankets, bags and bags of supplies and there was sun screen of every variety. I'm not just talking about 30, 40 or 50 spf. There was the old fashioned rub-on stuff, the kind you roll on like a big fat crayon and my amazing wife even found this stuff that you just spray on your child like some sort of anti-sun graffiti.  And don't get me started on the food. My wife was so well prepared these kids ate like royalty. Which completely blew my mind, because we were the people not five years back who forgot to so much as bring beach towels and sunscreen on our overnight trip to the shore.

The rings of chaos and beach excitement spread around us as onlookers took notice. More than once we were asked the standard, "are those twins you've got there?". "Yes, they are, and so are they and so are they and..." Of course the identicals always take the prize for cuteness with their matching ginger hair or identical sharp blue eyes, but I think we gave a lot of people something to talk about on their drive home that afternoon. Hopefully it wasn't the often quipped, "better them than me," but the more accurate and rarely said, "Wow, they've got it good!"

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