Sunday morning came and we woke early to give the birthday boy his presents. He opened them with much anticipation and was pleased with all he saw. Because it was only 6am and because it was a gorgeous morning we decided that a walk along the beach was just what the doctor ordered. The only problem was that Noah was afraid to walk on the sand and equally afraid of the waves.
We carried him at first, while the others, including the daredevil herself (Ivy Hazel), walked along the shoreline, with the waves lapping at their feet (and Ivy’s knees, skirt - when she sat in the waves, and top of her shirt - when she thought it might be good to lie down in the waves (we rescued her clothing at that point)). Noah’s eyes darted all around him, following the waves as they kissed the sand.
Eventually we put him down between David and I, holding both his hands and walked (pulled) him along. He cried and tried everything he knew to get us to pick him up again but eventually and reluctantly he toddled in between us, his little heart could almost be heard, it was that loud and fast. His eyes wide with the unknown. Just as he was getting used to it a rogue wave splashed onto his feet and he pulled his feet up, dangling, with the full weight of his body, from his arms, shrieking.
He had no problem saying sand. In fact, I think it was the only word he chanted for the first fifteen minutes as we taxed his fears but when the water paddled onto his toes the first descriptive word for the ocean was… ‘bottle’ (?) We have no idea why he called it that. At first we thought that it was a comfort word but in later days, when he had become accustomed to our morning beach walks he still referred to the waves as bottles. Go figure.
We are not cruel parents, although some of you might think we are. We just wanted him to overcome his fears or it would be a very long week.
After a while, we picked him up and carried him to the mall for AJ’s birthday breakfast at a place called Charlie’s. If you are ever in Surfers Paradise, try it. We all thought it was lovely. A nice atmosphere, the staff were great. Unlike some places, they didn’t even flinch when we said we needed "a table for ten, including two highchairs, please". Prices were reasonable too, although if you ask David, he would beg to differ.
Post breakfast saw us do a little shopping and AJ picked up a Roosters towel, the girls some more swimmers and Lily some thongs (Lovely patriotic green and gold thongs, with green stars and AUS printed on them) and a gold and diamonte shell trinket (in typical Lily style).
We walked back along the beach repeating the same routine with Noah. The only differece was this time he would let the tiny waves touch his feet, uttering… ‘gone, gone’ as they moved back into the ocean.
The morning was SO traumatic for the child, that once the adrenalin had stopped coursing through his veins, he promptly fell asleep, to recover.
There were so many emotions charging the air that morning. Happiness for AJ, sadness for him too, that his day was not spent with his birth mother.
Wonder that Ivy and Noah could be oceans (pardon the pun) apart in their personalities, when they had shared so much from the day they were conceived. She, so bold and confident in herself, he, fearful and unsure, both beautiful in their own right.
I felt relaxed walking along the beach. We had gone there to renew our wedding vows in 2003, 12 weeks pregnant with William.
When he died I had an Angel Reading done and in that reading, the lady said that when William wanted to send his love we would see white feathers. I don’t know if all that stuff is real or if I look for signs because I want him with us so badly but since his death I have seen many white feathers turn up just when I need them most.
This day, as we walked down to the beach we found one. It was comforting to see it.
I felt contentment for the first time in ages. Everything seemed as it was supposed to be that morning as I watched all the people I love most in the world walk along the beach in the early morning sun.