This past weekend Grammy Linda, Brady P. and I drove to Eagle River, Michigan to treat ourselves to a day at the beach. Aaron and ten of his friends were out in the Lake Superior wind and waves kite boarding, so we went to watch their performance.
Upon approaching the shore, the power of the wind was apparent. It lifted their kites high in the sky and gave them the power they needed to tack through the water like surfers who owned the lake. It blew the delicious smell of freshly smoking meats from The Fitz past our nostrils. And it cooled the temperature down at least 10-15 degrees from the lovely warm day we just left in Copper Harbor.
Grammy and I are really good at preparing. We had lawn chairs, snacks, bathing suits, towels, bug dope, toys and everything we could have needed at the beach. Everything except long pants and jackets. Luckily I had a few baby blankets in the van. I turned a Noah's Ark quilt into a shawl and wore it the whole time we were there.
Brady P. didn't care about a little chill or the wind. He ran his water-shoed feet down to a crest on the shore just before the beach sloped into the lake, and began to throw rocks. This beach had the good rocks -- golf ball to softball size -- that kids go crazy for. He tossed them in merrily while sitting between Grammy and I. We tried to be his wind blockers.
We watched our friends cruising through the waves with their sliver-of-the-moon kites soaring through the sky. We weren't the only ones gawking, though. All the tourists were pretty amazed at the sight they stumbled upon. They took pictures and commented on the kiters' jumps and spills.
Four dudes flying kites
And Brady P.'s dad was one of them.
Soon after we sat down, Aaron sailed to the shore to shout, "Hey Jonesy!"
"It's Daddy!" Grammy and I exclaimed to P. Pie Jones -- another one of his nicknames. He pointed with delight, then went back to throwing the perfect stones.
Each time I would ask Braeden, "Where's Daddy?" he would point toward the water. He knew Dad was out there somewhere. He seemed to enjoy watching the colorful kites roam the sky, but the rocks and eventual snacks were definitely a priority.
So was a nap.
Even though he traded off between snuggling under mine and Grammy's blankets, the wind, woo-hooing and shenanigans were too stimulating. Even for a boy three hours past nap time.
He had plenty to do. He dug in the sand with his red bucket. He listened, totally enamored, as little Maddie Mae played her ukelele. He ate graham crackers, chips, a brat and sand. He roamed the beach, tossing Grammy's flip flop around. He helped the guys by throwing more sand on their beached kites.
Brady P. helping sand the kite
That picture should give you an idea of just how big those kites are.
After a few hours we started to get sandblasted by the gusts. Linda and I looked at each other with sand in our teeth and hair and agreed it was time to make our way back home along the lakeshore. Brady P. waved goodbye to all his wetsuit wearing friends, and I buckled that tousled nugget into his seat.
He was asleep before we even left the parking lot.