Green Family on Oregon Coast

The boys skitter down the grassy hill to the beach below, shovels and buckets in tow. Isaac waits for Elijah to catch up and then they both take off running, the wind tugging at their hair and clothes makes each movement feel a little more wild. Isaac spins and jumps and falls into the sand. They turn back and climb up the hill again, Isaac quickly leaving Elijah behind, eventually Elijah’s blonde hair appears again on the edge of the little hill and as he makes his way up he seems impossibly small, climbing as fast as he can, balancing his body the best he can with the large shovel in one hand and the bucket in the other.
They run up the stairs and show us their prize. A crab claw. “We find it!” Elijah shouts, “a crab arm.”  Isaac gets distracted by his brother’s iPad and Elijah impatiently says, “Isaac, go to beach?” Isaac asks me if Elijah can go alone. I say no, and tell Caleb I would like him to go down to the beach for a little bit. He agrees, with less protest than I expect and the three of them make their way down the hill again. Caleb walks so casually with his hands in his pockets. The ocean breeze does not animate him like it does his brothers, and even at his slow casual pace Isaac and Elijah still have to scurry to catch him. It is surprising when even Caleb’s leaps a little on the beach despite himself. This time they are searching for more crab pieces intentionally. They have told us they want a crab body to go with the arm and leg they have already found, they zig zag across the beach, stopping every so often to crouch down and examine something. Every step Isaac takes has a frenetic energy, a skipping, jumping flailing characteristic, and Elijah must run the entire time just to keep up. Occasionally Isaac scoops something into the bucket Elijah holds. His bucket gets heavier and he holds it with both hands across his stomach still balancing the bright yellow shovel that is almost half his size. Caleb carries nothing and keeps his hands in his pockets until the effort of climbing the little hill back up to the house requires enough coordination that his hands swing free.
They are back on the porch within ten minutes of their journey out together. I hear the cadence of their voices below as they wash sand off their feet, but I can’t make out any words, just the low rumble of Caleb’s voice and the higher excited sound of isaac’s as they make their plans. Watching them from the large front windows is magical.  Every day they explore or build, search or fly their kites and even though each trip to the cold windy ocean is short it feels significant. They are healing like I am, even though most days you would never guess it. I hope this time here together is a strong salve. I want their memories of this place to be as poignant as their memories from this spring, but they probably won’t be, since there is no great emotional current under the surface here. Iit is peaceful and easy here and so their memories of this time will likely be fuzzy and gentle unlike the harsh vibrant memory of that day at the cemetery saying final goodbyes and crying and holding their mom and just wanting to leave, to be finished.
“Mom look!” Elijah says lifting up his bucket.  Caleb described all the pieces they found, proud but reserved. He says they are all such random pieces that they can’t match them up. Elijah repeats him excitedly, “We can’t match them up.” But down they go again, to attempt that vey thing.

Frankenstein Crab

Elijah doesn’t notice they have left as he digs his hand into a bag of cereal, and sings a little to himself before grabbing his brother’s abandoned iPad. Glad to find it free for once.
The older boys are downstairs working on re-assembling their Frankenstein like crab. I can not see them but occasionally their voices rise enough to be heard over the absconded iPad, as they strategize what mixed up pieces of crab to put where. In less time than I would expect the boys re-emerge and Caleb says, “Mom I have something awesome to show you!” The picture they have of the crab is much less crude than I expect, more like a museum piece than the monstrous collection of rotting crab pieces I expect to see.
The adventure over, they go back to their devices, they will return to the ocean again later for a few minutes. Little spurts of nature interrupting their lazy summer.


There are 3 comments for this post.

  1. Amorette on August 2, 2014 10:26 pm

    I absolutely love the picture of your sweet family! I am glad to hear you are making some fun memories together. I pray this trip will be a balm to soothe your hearts a little! I also pray that you experience wonderful blessings all along the way! Lots of love to you guys! ~ Amorette

  2. alaina on August 14, 2014 10:12 pm

    How old is zoey

  3. amyg on August 26, 2014 10:37 am

    Zoe is four months old today.

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