Friday, October 8, 2010

Turning a Day Around

This morning I woke up on the wrong side of the bed. Apparently two of my four children did too which made for an interesting start to the day. They pushed my buttons and I let them. By the time we picked Alli up from her birthday party at lunch time, we all needed a giant time out.

We haven't been to Cannon Beach since we moved to Oregon in 2008 and since the kids had the day off school, we took off for the coast after the party. We pulled into Ecola State Park almost got blown over by the huge gusts of wind. Paige got sand in her eye and cried for at least 20 minutes until we got "medicine" (eye drops) from the car. After her miraculous healing, she never complained the entire day, and we hiked three miles of fairly steep terrain. Not only did she refrain from complaining, she decided she's too big to hold my hand or accept help expect in the steepest part. As I watched my baby keep up with the big kids, hike three miles in her hot pink cowgirl boots and not miss a beat or need me, a little piece of my heart died.

The plan was to have today be Middle Name day. I wish I could take credit for all the fun stuff our family does, but most of the goofiness is Curt's brain child. Before we could start calling each other by our middle names, a new plan emerged. Grant is studying Indians at school and they have become his most recent obsession. We heard about Indians ALL.DAY.LONG. Kaitlin fell in line with all his teaching and repurposed a rubber physical therapy band we found in the van as an "Indian bandana" and wore it ALL.DAY.LONG. With that, Curt gave us all Indian names. He was Walks With Stick, Grant was Strays From Trail, Kaitlin was Walks With Dog, Alli was Missing Teeth, Paige was Dirt in Eye, and Dusty was White Wool. I was hoping to not get Crab Master General, but I think Steps on Duck was equally bad. Hands down the best part of the day was those goofy nicknames. At one point late in the day, I asked Paige what her name was and after great thought she said, "Oh, I know. Dirt Eye." We both giggled.

We hiked from Ecola State Park down to Indian Beach. It was the perfect size hike - a mile and half each way with fairly steep ups and downs so it still felt like it required effort to get to the beach. Indian Beach is known for it's good surf and we enjoyed watching several surfers out catching waves. It's also littered with tons of huge rocks that we all explored. Strays From Path brought his whittling knife to perfect his home-made spear. When it met inspection, he took off sea gull hunting, Indian style, and spent the entire afternoon chasing birds in his bare feet.

We picnicked for lunch and dinner and killed the entire day at the very windy, sometimes sunny, mostly cloudy, but not rainy today, lovely Oregon coast. We headed into town for some salt water taffy, but the candy store was already closed, so we finished our day at Haystack Rock instead. The tide was as low as I've ever seen it so we explored the tide pools in the last waning light of day. We even tortured a few crabs that happened to be in the shallow water.

I'm so glad for this day as a family and for the healing power of laughter. There is nothing like a good laugh and a little goofiness to turn a day around!

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