Only had one child, so we focused all of our attention on him. And he never complained. Never asked for a brother or sister.
Much of the great memories regarding Mike involve our annual visits to our modest Cape Cod home in the summer. It never mattered when we arrived at the cottage, whether it be five in the afternoon or one in the morning- I HAD to walk Mike to the beach. Usually in the dark, and no one on the beach but us.
Cartwheels in the sand, tippy toeing in the surf, gathering shells….was always the same routine. Exhausted from the long drive, I would hold out as long as I could before I told him we had to return to the cottage.
This story zeroes in on two particular memories.
The first involves our daily visits to the beach during regular sunlight hours. If Gingerplum Beach had some wave action going, which was never outrageous, Mike would take off his teeshirt, drop his sandals, get sunscreened and spend the entire duration of the time playing in the waves.
He had a variety of moves he would employ. He had the stiff body frontal fall into the waves, the stiff body rear fall, and the spinning pirouette. For eight hours. With the shortest of lunch breaks.
Mom and Dad would be parked on a blanket about 20 feet away, and by the end of the day we would be nearly blind from staring into the sun reflecting surf.
You might think that Mike would be exhausted at the end of the day, ready to be tossed over my shoulder for the walk home.
Not the case.
After dinner, Mike would ask to go the trampolines, where he could somehow find the energy to do additional boings. It was Mom and Dad who would have to pry open their eyelids to make it through the evening.
The second Cape Cod memory involves Mike’s love affair with a novelty store, Pizzazz. Next to the beach, and maybe the go karts, Pizzazz was the best dopey kid action imaginable.
This store, which was fairly large, contained all items related to whoopee cushions, fake vomit, fake dog poop, and legal explosives. Every single visit involved Mike’s close inspection of all items in the store.
For Dad, fairly boring just hanging. No place to sit and have a cup of coffee. And I did not have the same level of enthusiasm. But what was a Dad to do?
Mike is now 24, and on his own, but he remembers everything about those Cape Cod summer days.
And that makes it all worth it.