Oh, how I love those lazy summer days of childhood. The days when there was no school and nothing to do but explore. Although now that I am a full-grown adult, random days of summer exploration are a little different. But occasionally, I get to relive my childhood through the eyes of another.
Yesterday was one of those occasions.
Daddy and I showed up at my youngest sister’s house around lunchtime, and I was in the mood for an ice cream. So, with very little effort, I convinced my 6-year-old Godson, Cameron, to walk down to the ice cream shop with me. Further sweetening the deal with a promise to walk all the way down to the waterfront.
As we set off for downtown Steilacoom, I was well aware that downtown was also downhill. And I feared the prospect of walking back up the hill after our ice cream. But I wanted a sweet treat and I relegated myself to the potential of having to carry Cameron home on my back.
When we got to the ice cream shop, I ordered a double scoop of huckleberry and black cherry on a waffle cone. Cameron ordered a single scoop of his favourite flavour: Vanilla. He also wisely chose a cup with a spook to avoid melting ice cream running down his arm. (Smart kid!)
With our ice cream in hand, we walked down to the ferry docks to watch the ferries come in – and to enjoy the wonders that the tide left behind for us to discover.
Cameron is a very curious boy and really enjoys learning and exploring. That meant that there were lots of great questions and a great deal of lifting rocks to see what was underneath.
Thankfully, Cameron is also quite risk-averse, so played with a healthy dose of caution. We also talked about safety and how it was OK to be down by the water exploring with a responsible adult, but that he can’t come down with just his friends. We also talked about not touching the jellyfish and the importance of washing our hands after playing with all the shells, seaweed, and barnacle-encrusted rocks and pillars. (Thankfully, his Aunt Frances carries hand sanitiser and wipes in her bag because she, too, is risk-averse.)
After about two hours of exploring, I got a message from Daddy asking where we were – and if we needed a lift back. As I thought about the hills we faced, I replied with a location pin. Then Cameron and I carried on playing until we saw Taxi Dad arrive.
Of course, there was a train coming which meant we had to wait for Dad to enjoy his playtime: Taking photos of trains!!
It was a great day out with “millions” of crabs by Cameron’s count. And I think there were just as many smiles!
I hope that the day lives on in Cameron’s summer memories so that he can reflect back on a fun and carefree summer in the future.