......finding a new home for lutefisk lovers.

(ok we don't love it. or even like it. but we're supposed to.)

21 December 2010

Hindsight is 20/20

Today Mike and I identified the moment that Liam decided he did not like the beach.
It was the moment this photo was taken.

In August, I posted about his resistance (Please Don't Yank My Chain Like This). About our surprise and confusion when the boy who loved the beach suddenly refuses to go.........

Today Mike is home on vacation (yay!) and we took a walk to the beach to watch the surfers. The ocean in winter is full of swollen, frothy waves that smack against the rocks for our entertainment. After each hit, I wait for the spray to shoot into the sky like fireworks (the beach in winter........I had no idea that it could heal my wounds year round).

Before heading back home, I point to an area just north of the fish shack and suggest that we check out the view from the sea wall. And Mike says, "That's where we pulled over to take a picture the day we drove Liam by the house for the first time."

And that's when it hit me: that's where his disdain for the beach originated. Right here by this fish shack just 30 minutes after we had arrived in the state of New Hampshire.

Just minutes before this photo was taken, we had driven him by our new house; showing him the place that we would call home in a just a few weeks' time. I have a picture of him looking out the car window, seeing his new house for the very first time........it doesn't contain the anticipation or the excitement or the amazement that I expected. Instead, the picture is heavy with rumination.

It was the instant he fully realized we weren't going home.

Then we drove from our new house to the beach to show him how close we were to the ocean. It's a 3 minute drive! We can come here every day! Can you believe this? We pulled over and hopped out of the car to take this photo, capturing our first visit to the ocean that was now in our neighborhood. And instead of celebrating with us, he sulked......barely looking up at the camera. In that span of 7 minutes, he was grappling with the full realization of his loss - and the stupid, clueless parents who were making him celebrate at such a time. What choice did he have but to hate the thing we were shoving in his face? We basically handed him a new behavior issue on a silver platter.

Until that day, Liam loved the beach. Now he cries and says please don't make me go.

But we do make him go. And though he complains and begs to leave, he hesitates so he can collect just one more shell. Or one more rock. Until his pockets are bulging and soggy with sea water. And when he can't carry any more, he fills our pockets. Then turns to us with his arms full of the beach and says "Can we go now? I don't like the beach."

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