13 August 2011

Sun, son

We are on the eve of our last hurrah of summer, a few days at the beach on the Costa Brava. Gabriel simply adored everything about the beach in Cape Cod. When we had to head home after our first day's beach sojourn, during those perfect late-afternoon soft-sky beach hours, he flopped himself into the sand as the boardwalk ended in the parking lot, sand-angels-style. Although he couldn't say as much in words, his message was clear: I like it here.

A Costa Brava beach is an entirely different experience than a Cape Cod beach, but I'm pretty sure he'll like it, too (assuming he doesn't remember last year). And although posting this after not having written since we were in Massachusetts makes it sound like we just spend our summer jaunting internationally from beach to beach, we actually spent a couple of weeks in Belgium in between these two trips. And those weeks were...challenging. First, because they were rainy and cold and requiring of sweaters, and second, because they were dominated by a jet-lagged, molar-teething, suddenly-more-savvy toddler.

We didn't sleep much. Gabriel seems to have learned how to hit us deliberately. In the face. He had his first time out. Bedtimes were battlegrounds. Our street is still a mud pit.

But! The hitting (which thankfully has already died down) is part and parcel of a bigger growth spurt: he seems taller to us, is saying more and more recognizable words, chattering away in his toddler tongue, running faster, throwing and catching and singing ("Uppa Buh" is his favorite, which is what he calls "Twinkle Twinkle Little Star," from the beginning of its second line; followed closely by "Cargol treu banya" which is about a snail and prompted by the many snails crawling the walls in our back yard).

He dances by spinning in circles and tries to snap his fingers, or does a up-and-down move with his arms that makes him look like a 1950s teenybopper. He makes surprising and funny connections between his books and what he sees in the world and vice versa, and by gum if he didn't recognize the front door of our building the night we arrived in Barcelona. His curls continue to slay me and he is liberal with kisses, but only when circumstances call for it (goodbyes, hellos, night time, wake up). He slept in this morning, then woke up without a peep and surprised us by walking into the dining rom and just giggling, so happy to see us. Lately he has started to smack his lips together when he bumps his head, which means, "Mom, please kiss it to make it better." I happily oblige.

18 months of this kid, and it's only getting better. The summer sun we'll have to soak up while we can, but his sunny golden head is ours for keeps. Making our lives warmer always.

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