Today we had a crazy amount of options as to what we could do as a family. People to visit (his Mum had distant relatives visiting and invited us to come for the day). Cheyanne had games all weekend (but we couldn't figure out when they all were). We were asked to help volunteer at a booth for the Whaling City Festival. There was a Portuguese Feast down the street we considered going to. Shaun's monthly "prayer day" was also today. We had a TON of house stuff to catch up on. ...and more.
We didn't do any of it.
I'm not complaining, as I've become a bit of a homebody anyway, and love simple quiet time with just the family, but the real reason was that his back was so bad we just needed to stay home.
As it was nearing the end of the day, it was hot and humid the thought of an oven on in the house, cooking dinner was just not feasible, so I had told Ava if she'd go right to sleep for her second nap (and I could get both babies sleeping for a bit) that we would take a quick trip to the beach when she woke up.
She did go right to sleep and a promise is a promise. Shaun's back was feeling a little better and I had mentioned earlier that I thought a quick trip to the ocean and a picnic dinner would be a great way to "make some memories".
Ava woke up first and Shaun was still sleeping with Clara, so we whispered our plan to sneek out to grab some supper "to go" while we tiptoed past a slumbering daddy and baby to let them catch a few more "Zzzzz's"
We came back and picked up the sleepy-heads to "make some memories". The car was packed, but we had no bathing suits as this was a quick "picnic" beach trip.
Ava had other plans.
(just look at her face)
(*thinking* "he's distracted by the baby" "Psst... Clara? Cover for me!")
We sat down to eat and she took no more than a few bites before she saw a potential playmate and she was off. I could see her from where I sat, so no big deal. She had eaten plenty throughout the day and I could tell the sand and water were beckoning to her.
After her playmate left she went running on the beach with Daddy as I packed up the car with anything I could put away, so we wouldn't have to do it later.
I quickly returned to see a happy daddy sitting on a rock with Clara and Ava joyfully running in her summer dress along the shore. As I was entering the beach and calling her to come take her shoes off (they were leather) so that she could just run barefoot, a seagull landed not far off shore to float on the still, quiet bay waters.
Without thinking Ava just walked right in after it.
At first we both laughed and then we both realized that she was going in pretty quickly as there were no waves to deter her. We were not super close by, but both of us moved.
"Catch dirdie! Catch dirdie! I catch dirdie!" She innocently repeated (I'll catch birdie) as she went deeper in.
"Ava! Stop! Wait for Mommy!" I repeated
I dropped my camera as she lost her balance, slipped and plunged face first into the water and floated there facedown "dead man's" style. I half expected her to stand up or raise her head, but she didn't. She couldn't.
I'm sure it all happened quickly, but it all seemed "slow motion" to Shaun and I.
Shaun came quickly carrying Clara, but I was closer and I ran in after her with no thought to being fully clothed, dress to my ankles and yanked her floating body up out of the water.
She had obviously been gulping sea water and sputtered and cried and clung to me.
I reassured her "Mommy's here, it's ok, I have you" and walked her dripping body towards shore.
As she saw me leaving the water she quickly changed tune, "No, NO! Down, Mommy!" (Crazy KID! She wanted to go BACK in the water!)
Ava has absolutely NO fear of the water. She was holding my hand, teeth chattering, drenched from head to toe and even after getting a taste of potentially drowning, STILL didn't want to get out.
"You want to go BACK in?"
"Ok, THIS time, with Mommy..."
"I'm soaked anyway, so why not?"
"Look a dirdie!"
"Hey everyone! We're ok"
"Doesn't look like SOMEONE just tried to drown, does it?"
"Ok, it's about to rain, so we have to go in" Ava thinking "Awww... do we really HAVE to?"
"Dada More Water"
(Storms a comin)
Ok. Time to go.
We had to leave as dark clouds quickly and unexpectedly rolled in and opened up on us with a downpour as we hurried to the car. I looked over at Clara in Shaun's arms as the rain was pelting us. Her expression? Pure bliss. BOY... am I in for it!
Shaun looked at me as we sat drenched in the car and said with a smirk, "Well... you wanted to make memories!"
Ava was thoroughly un-phased by the whole episode and sang "It's raining, It's pouring" the whole way home, but we did discuss repeatedly what we "learned" today. That we don't go in the water without Mommy or Daddy... even to catch a "dirdie".