Tuesday, September 8, 2009
We had four parties this weekend. All were wonderfully different but the central theme for the six year old was cake. When I say cake what I actually mean is frosting.
Thankfully there was a beach or a bouncy to help with the sugar high.
One party was at a rented beach house. It was a glorious place with the beach and the ocean as a backyard. We set up for the day. Nearby the six year old found a crab that had been some lucky birds meal. It was quite large and although well picked over was a whole crab with legs. We became biologists. We studied that crab in minute detail. Made his pincers pinch. Looked at his joints and how each attached. We studied the detailed symmetrical pattern on his shell. We sniffed his salty sea worn smell.
We stopped the baby from using one of the legs as a chew toy.
It was one of those moments where I was lost between the delight of discovery with my child and the nostalgia of remembering my crab dissection days.
The smell was instantly recognizable despite too many years and even a different continent and ocean. It may be absurd to think an Atlantic crab might smell differently from a Pacific one but it crossed my mind!
The first time I found a crab at the beach I kept the pincer in my pocket for weeks. (Much to my parents chagrin.) So, when the six year old asked to bring the crab shell home - I found a treasure bag. Safe in the knowledge that she (and I) will forget all about that shell and next time we open the beach bag it will be a wonderful but stinky surprise.
Later the guitars came out and I luxuriated in motherly pride watching my sweet girls dance in the sand. My childhood beach days usually involved sweatshirts, windbreakers and frigid waters. My girls will remember hot sun, warm(ish) waters and blazing sunsets.
Either way, golden moments abound.