Saturday, August 31, 2013
I used to have this Weimaraner, Clay. She was inexhaustible.
At the time, I was training for a marathon and would take her with me on my long runs. Afterward, I lay on the sofa with thighs on fire while she did laps around the apartment, whimpering and demanding that I take her outside for more activity. I did not have the temperament for this type of animal. After a year, I found a nice home for her out in the suburbs with an expansive backyard and a family who could run her out.
I now have this son, Ezra. He is inexhaustible. Once he finishes one sport, he circles the living room, whimpering and demanding that we go outside for more activity.
I can’t give my child away to a family with a bigger yard who can run him out. But sometimes I want to.
There is no better place to witness Ezra’s endurance than on vacation, where I am now with my husband, stepfather, mother, sister and nephew in Avalon, N.J. The first thing Ezra wants to do is hit golf balls. Then go to the skate park. Then the basketball court next to the skate park to shoot hoops. Then the skate park again – just to try one more thing. Then, back at the house, he wants to scooter in the driveway and practice his “380.” Then breakfast.
When it is time to go to the beach, everyone moves much too slowly for Ezra. Once there, he plays baseball, then paddle ball, then rides the waves in the ocean, then paddle ball again, then the skim board, a walk (pausing at every lifeguard beach to jump into the ocean and bodysurf), then a catch, then lacrosse, then tossing a squishy ball in the ocean, then more swimming until he is thoroughly chafed and blue-lipped. Then he digs a hole in the sand.
Back at the shore house there is more scootering and 380 practice in the driveway. He checks the status of his DragonVale eggs and dragons. He plays drums. He re-enacts the walk-off scene from Zoolander. He interrupts me several times during bedtime reading to ask me about his DragonVale eggs. He does not sit. He is not like his brother, who is capable of exquisite stasis.
But this week we are on vacation. And for me and my husband, Michael, that also means a vacation from parenting. I have four babysitters with me in Avalon. Michael and I took a two-hour beach walk this morning. Two hours. My stepdad takes Ezra to the skate park and to the driving range and to the basketball court. He bodysurfs with him at every single lifeguard beach. My sister plays paddle ball and baseball with him. I’m not even doing shower time. Part of me feels guilty, like I am missing out on some of my sons’ sun-bleached August joy.
But school is about to start. Then High Holidays. Ezra’s birthday. Soccer. Instruments. Hebrew School. Goal setting conferences. The fourth grade camping trip. Karate. Basketball. Homework.
This is the last of it. The final breaths of summer 2013, of later mornings and relaxed rules. Of double ice cream days and pancake house breakfasts. Of puzzles and crosswords and DragonVale. Of itty-bitty Coke cans. Of too many french fries and far too much screen time.
So sure, Poppi. You can take him to the ocean, I can see you from this beach chair.