We celebrated a milestone this weekend. Of sorts.
Jensen ventured into the ocean.
This would not seem like such a great feat, but he hasn’t stepped foot in the ocean in a sweet forever. He dearly loves the water, but his atopic dermatitis has been so severe this last year that whenever he tried to wade out, the subsequent SCREAMING from all of THE STINGING FROM OPEN RAW SKIN would draw a crowd.
I’m not kidding.
People from a mile or so away would come running to see the little boy that had been bitten by a shark. Because that’s the only explanation for the sounds coming from his general direction.
Fiddledaddy would be standing by, ready to swoop him up into his arms and make a mad dash for the showers at the top of the boardwalk. A workout of epic proportions, considering that he has to carry a 65 pound sack of screaming writhing potatoes over the rugged sand, up the rickety wooden steps, and down the plank to the shower head. All the while praying that the water was turned on.
Ordinarily, salt water is excellent for a child with eczema or a skin condition like Jensen’s, but if the skin has been scratched and there are raw sores, salt water is rather like pouring alcohol over a gaping gunshot wound. Even should he stay dry, the sand is a terrible irritant.
We share this in common. Sand irritates me as well. I do not prefer the beach.
How Fiddledaddy (who grew up at the beach) and this country girl ever got together I will never know.
All this to say, we avoid the beach like a puss filled plague. Thankfully, my sweet SIL, Trish, often collects my girls for beach romps, while Jensen happily stays home with his mommy. Where it is safe. And free of sand particles.
We had a church youth beach function scheduled for Sunday night. Jensen thought that he might like to try going, but NOT GETTING WET. We kept him lotioned and taped up into his cotton gloves and socks all day, and his skin has been looking particularly good.
We knew it was a risk. But we’re nothing if not adventuresome.
Jensen put on his swim trunks and rash guard at my insistence. I knew that would be far more comfortable than being covered from head to toe. When we arrived he happily played in the sand with his friends, his new beach shovel, and an array of angry bird action figures.
After an hour or two my attention drifted to the snack bag, where I rifled through searching for something chocolate. Nothing was found, but when I looked up, I saw Jensen STANDING IN THE OCEAN. Alarmed, I looked to Fiddledaddy to alert him to this clear and present danger. Calmly, he assured me that he thought everything would be all right.
Forgetting my cravings, I stood and intently watched my boy splashing about, and diving into the crashing waves.
After a while I relaxed and watched him frolic joyfully. Eventually he made a bee line up to us and we noted the universal sign for I HAVE TO PEE.
Well. Neither of us wanted to make the trek back to the bathroom, so we told young Jensen to wander back out into the ocean and pee at will.
His eyes widened, WHAT???? We have drilled into our offspring’s pointy little heads that you are NEVER to pee in the pool, so this instruction took him by surprise. We explained how vast the ocean is, and that no one would know, and it would be quite washed away.
Do not judge me.
Dubious, he wandered back into the ocean. Retracing his steps back to us a few times to make certain we weren’t pulling his leg.
I sat back down in my comfy chair as he reached about knee deep water. It was then I realized, much to my horror, the child was going to drop his swim trunks right there in front of God, our youth pastor, and fellow church goers, and let it fly at will.
People. I ran. For the first time since way before the Lyme Diagnosis, the knee surgeries, and the fact that I only run when chased, I SORT OF RAN. All the while yelling at my son, NOOOOOOO!
I reached him in the nick of time and explained that he needed to go further out and he might try sitting down. Thankfully, there was no one in the water nearby. It took a good deal of convincing and finally he asked me to keep him company. I drew the line at sitting in the water and peeing with him.
As he sat there, he started yelling I’M PEEING, I’M PEEING. I was hoping that the sounds of the crashing waves and my singing off key drowned him out.
He then very excitedly rushed over to his sisters some 50 or so yards away and told them that he just peed in the ocean.
Much to their audible horror.
Some parenting moments are worth reliving ad nauseum in one’s mind. Memories like that get me through the day.
So I guess two milestones were reached. Jensen was able to frolic in the ocean, AND commune with the fish.
His joy was palpable.