I wish I had pictures. I really do.
Today was Peatuk’s first real interaction with a beach. Last year, we took him down to the Galata beach, but he didn’t particularly like the sand and the waves scared him, so we never stayed very long and we didn’t actually go into the water.
Earlier this summer, my parents let him splash around in the waves, and while he loved it, no one had a bathing suit, so we had to leave after twenty minutes or so of playing.
Today was a designated beach day. We went with Nikola’s brother, his sister, her co-worker, and her co-worker’s son. We tried to go around 9am, but we left late and then had to go to two different beaches to find one that was not over-crowded and did not have ‘dangerous waves.’ (The beach we went to still had a red flag, but it was mostly protected by a breaker, so even though the waves were large, they were more or less regular).
As soon as we got out of the car, Peatuk seemed thrilled to see the sea. He was up on his uncle’s shoulders, with a slightly confused but happy furrow in his brow. He laughed, that angelic, clear laugh he has, when his hat flew off, and very defiantly put it back on all by himself.
He wasn’t so sure about the sand when we took off his shoes and let him walk, so his uncle had to carry him to our umbrella. There, he played for half an hour with his new friend. His friend, a year older, very dutifully tried to fill buckets with sand. Peatuk, not quite getting the game, proceeded to dump the buckets out. But they still got along.
After I drank a coffee, Nikola and I had a dip in the sea. The bottom was sandy, the waves weren’t too bad, and the temperature was just right, so we decided to bring Peatuk in.
He got very excited when we put his floaties on him, and I had to chase after him as he headed towards the water. When he reached the edge, a wave came over his little feet and he gave his nervous moan, looking at me with panic in his eyes. I smiled at him, held him close, and pointed to the next wave coming.
By the second wave, he understood that it was a game. He squealed every time a wave crashed near him. He pointed towards the next one coming. He never let go of me, but his eyes were so excited. It was a perfect moment.
Then, Nikola met up with us and we took him into the water. Angel held him, picking him up over each wave, and Peatuk thought it was a great game. The whole time he hung on tight and laughed. His eyes were so thirsty. At some point he switched to Nikola, and finally to me.
For the most part, he loved the sea, but he did not like the way it tasted. Every time the water splashed his face, he would nearly cry and give a very disgusted look.
After playing in the sea, we went back to our umbrella and Peatuk had a snack and almost cuddled up to sleep. A little more play, a final dip for me, and we headed home. Peatuk was asleep within two minutes in the car.
It was perfect, and I just wish I had a camera.
I used to hate the beach. Too much pressure. It was an all day affair. It was supposed to be the place of memories and magic and even though it was fun, it somehow failed to live up to the expectations I had built for it. Now, as a casual place to dip… as a place to go because your body needs the washing of nature and the kiss of sun… it is perfect.