Grace came downstairs in the middle of the night…all on her own.
I was getting ready to slice bread, and shut our bedroom door as a precaution (so as to not wake those who were already sleeping). I had put the loaf in the slicer, and plugged in the knife when I heard the bedroom door open.
My first reaction? “Damn cat.” (For those not in the know, our cat can open doors. In either direction.)
I get ready to close the door, when I glimpse blonde hair getting ready to wake someone.
A very brief conversation ensued, and she willingly was carried back up to her room and put back in her bed. Turned on Daddy Cy’s music again, and she promised to close her eyes and go to sleep. Fortunately, I heard her call before she woke him. Some fresh ice water and some cough medicine, and snoring emanates from her room once again.
So, we took Grace to her first hockey game. She wanted popcorn and cotton candy — some of which she even shared with Cy. By the time she had had enough, her fingers were more than modestly sticky.
But she wanted some more popcorn. One bite, and the look on her face demonstrated that she realized the cross-contamination problem.
Then, she got that sly look on her face, and I knew she had thought of a silly solution: to simply dip her mouth directly into the popcorn (as I was holding it), thereby bypassing the sugary fingers.
Also, when the game first began, she said “Miss Jody says that we don’t play with sticks.”
I’ve said it before, but I can’t repeat it too often: of all the things I never expected of being a daddy, her sense of humor is the most pleasantly surprising element.
There was also some confusion at the end of the “Rudy’s Barberque Sauce Drinking Contest” when the buzzer went off, but it was quickly cleared up when we realized that none of the contestants were miked.
We packed up all we needed from the condo to go to the beach itself, and headed on down en masse.
Once we got over the boardwalk over the dunes, Grace went racing ahead of us. Way ahead of us.
Once I realized what was happening, I dropped (carefully) what I was carrying, and ran to catch up with her.
Before I caught up, a wave took her and knocked her down. Right behind it, another wave rolled her over and over. Right then, I caught up with her. She was scared, and getting ready to cry — not cry, wail. No, not wail, squall.
But I had an instant in which to recover the entire day, and the entire trip, and all coastal trips thereafter. What did I come up with? Inspiration struck:
Ocean! You’re getting a time-out!
At that instant, the undertow from both waves pulled back, going out to sea.
I was rewarded many times, first with giggles, then ongoing with her sticking nearby and behaving the rest of the day, and by her ongoing love of swimming and the ocean.
Some of my best memories with Grace are at the coast, and this is merely the first of many!