While laying with Brian at bedtime tonight - a ritual since Gavin died - he said to me...
"Mama? Gavin loved being with us. He had so much fun with us at the beach. It's not FAIR that he had to die and go to Heaven!" as he pounded his fist on his bed for dramatic effect. And then, as usual, he wanted me to tell the story about what happened the day that Gavin died.
He's right. It's not fair. And during this beach trip, I have gone back and forth with whether this trip feels "too soon." But I tend to think everything is "too soon" these days. I know that Gavin IS here with us - and so, so happy that we're here as a family in his favorite place. I am sure that he's especially happy to watch his little brother having so much fun - especially in the ocean! Brian stayed far away from the water until just this year! Watching him bravely splash around with us really does make us feel better. Even if it's just a little bit.
My brother, sister in law and my adorable niece, Isabella, are at the beach for a few days, too!
We met on the beach this morning and Brian had a great time playing with Isabella. She and Brian are the youngest grandchildren - a year and a half apart. Brian gets to be the "older" cousin with her and they are just adorable together.
Granny and I have quite fancy chairs on the beach! (And thanks to Ed, our sherpa, they are schlepped across the sand and set up under shady umbrellas every day!) You won't find me purposefully sitting out in the sun unless I venture out to play with Brian in the ocean or playing in the sand here and there. Today I shared my "throne" with him while he ate a snack. Playing is tough work, you know.
But breaks are short. Because playing is also very serious business.
This afternoon, after power washing the sand out of every nook and cranny, we headed up to the boardwalk for some late afternoon fun. Brian shocked us once again with his newfound sense of adventure by announcing he wanted to try the bumper cars!
Lucky for him, he was the only kid in the cars on his very first turn. The ride operator - a young kid named Dante (I'll never forget this!) - was so patient and helped Brian get the hang of driving his car. When the ride was over he, of course, wanted to go again. This time, there were other kids who arrived to drive some of the other cars. Brian was now an experienced driver and it was so fun to see him intentionally bump into the other cars! But we noticed something very, very sweet. He purposefully sought out and bumped into a car with two boys in it... and they bumped him back. But he also purposefully avoided a car with a little girl in it... swerving out of the way, even.
My chivalrous little boy.