Wednesday, July 30, 2014

See Spot Run

"EEEEEEEE!" my nieces squealed in delight as they splashed in.

I watched as the three, Eewok (7), (cousin to) Thing 1 (6), and Thing 2 (4.5), shrieked happily in the shallow surf.
Via, Adam Emory Albright "Children at the Beach"
I dipped a tentative toe into the frothing tide, but found it too chilly for my taste. I wriggled my feet into the damp sand, examining a multitude of tiny clams that washed ashore. They swiftly burrowed downward, disappearing from sight. 

I espied a dog heading towards us, off his leash, his owner strolling leisurely behind him. He was a rather adorable terrier, the kind usually featured in pet food commercials, white with one black ear and a black splotch on his back.

As I expected, Eewok ran towards the animal while the Things flung themselves behind the security of my skirts. Due to the vagaries of genetics, I actually inherited Babi's animal-lovingness, so I attempted to (unsuccessfully) soothe them while Eewok frolicked. 

She ran back to me and reported, "His name is Spot," before tearing after him again.

At this point, other children on the beach were also attempting to play with Spot. But their efforts seemed rather one-sided. He kept dodging their adoring hands, scorning their coochy-coos, only grudgingly coming to a stop when a water bottle was offered. 

Thing 2, who was glued to my leg, suddenly piped, in the wondrous tone of dawning comprehension, "The dog is scared of people!"

"Yes," I breathed. 

"Yes!" I repeated, "Yes, exactly!" I ecstatically hugged her. 

What I was excited over was that despite the fact that even though she was frozen in terror, she still possessed the presence of mind to observe the situation and make a conclusion from it. Affectatious Thing 1 couldn't do that, melodramatically burying her face in my robe. I had found it necessary to lecture her on never being so scared of a bug or an animal that one could be driven to do something silly (meaning, dangerous, but I didn't want to be that frightening). 

But I didn't have to tell that to the pint-sized Thing 2. She was watching from a cautious distance and a safe place, and was able to make a call. The right one, yet. 

 Not even a year ago she was a whiny kvetch. It's so nice when they start to grow up. 

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