A Missed Whale’s Tale.

This is the first summer of my life, in which I’ve looked at time as so measured.

Summers in childhood were endless, but none so as endless as that first summer after a year of college. Holy cow. Three full months to work and play, or in my case, sneak in and out of boyfriends’ houses before dawn. Thanks, Mom and Dad, for looking the other way and accepting me as the legal adult I was, although I still had a lot to learn. Heck, I always will.

Cape Cod

Even three months long would not be enough anymore. It wasn’t even becoming a parent that did it for me. It was becoming a parent twice over, and watching Des speed by the milestones I had already grown to expect from Scarlet. Of course they were different – at different times and paces – but I was already too far gone by that point. Time is a jerk. And if I thought that being a parent twice over was bad, then we got a puppy. Her life span is shorter than ours by a lot, so even though she’s only a year old, I’m well-versed in the ways of dog love and just how much dog time is also a jerk. To put it incredibly mildly.

Cape Cod vacation

Then the icing on the cake was Scarlet starting and finishing kindergarten in an anxious but fulfilling blink of an eye. Daycare and preschool were kinda awesome because I could just say, “Scarlet won’t be in school today because I’m taking her on my own mental health day whims to a museum.” No one would bat a blinking eye about that. Even her kindergarten teacher was kinda awesome when I mentioned we’d be going to Disney World for a full week. She said, “Eh, she’ll learn more there than in the classroom, won’t she?” Indeed. Also, kindergarten still had naptime, blankets and stuffed animals, so how much sleep could I really lose about her missing a week? Also, because of snow, she only missed 3.5 days of school in the long run.

While we were on a beach somewhere, quite like and quite unlike this one.

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Maybe it was Des turning three, Scarlet turning six and me turning.. 25. Let’s just go with 25. It was my first time having a three-year-old without another baby in the picture, so I could really drink in his three-year-old-ness. Boo, hiss. Maybe it was drinking in my not 25-ness. Maybe it was regretting ever, ever wishing time away, even though I still do it now because winter is a bigger jerk than time and I’m constantly calling it so, and it’s not that I wish I lived on a beach in a beach town forever.. It’s not that.. It’s that I wish I at least had the chance to always go forth to that beach in that beach town – year round. Calling my name. The winds and the waves, the ebbs and flows, the cruel and significant tides. I hate summer’s end.

It makes me think.. this:

It doesn’t matter how beautiful and luscious fall is – I get all that. I crave all that. And still, summer’s end. Even the thought of it had me mulling time, dog time, potty training time, three-year-old attitudes, birthdays, how July feels better than August, and that life isn’t a buffet 24/7. You can’t eat ice cream every day, if you want it to stay so special. You can’t live on the beach every day, if you want it to stay so special. You just have to breathe and enjoy and embrace what you DO have, and while it’s happening too, no other way around it. See it, feel it, touch it, heal it. Taste it and smell it too.

And so we did.

This story starts after the mulling and the long car ride, because I shook that shiz right off the second I stepped onto the beach house lawn – with it’s buoy and boat decorations. With it being the perfect place for a boy and girl to learn and grow:

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What? When you’ve gotta go, you’ve gotta go. Some locations are more pleasant than others.

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And then, beach and more beach.

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At night, Scarlet and Cassidy went to a drive-in movie (!!!) and the grandparents went to see a play. So the aunt, the uncle, the Des and I went to see the sunset over the bay. It was a wash so we went and got ice cream instead. With sprinkles.

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Two years ago, we took Scarlet to the Highland Light (lighthouse in Truro) but she was too small to climb to the top, so they gave us a coupon to take her back. Well it’s been on our minds ever since so we went back. I’m fairly certain she’s still too small for it, but no one said anything so up we went – the two of us. Cassidy took Des out to see the location the lighthouse had to be moved from – because erosion threatened to tumble it into the sea. We saw them from the top of the lighthouse – which Scarlet effortlessly climbed. I was wearing a long dress and carrying a camera so the small ladders were hard for me.

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We all met at the bottom by the water and found out that Des and Cassidy had seen.. a WHALE jumping out of the water. People were talking so excitedly about it, and we only missed it by minutes. We waited and waited, but that whale and its tail swam away. Now a little known fact about me is that I used to feel about whales how I feel about moose. Whales are my second favorite animal, and I’ve had a magical whale watching experience, but they’re always still on my mind. I’ve never seen them from land either. Perhaps it wasn’t our day, so we went and had lunch at Moby Dick’s Restaurant – almost the same thing, right? Well, no, but the chowder was amazing. Perhaps there will be many more chances to see whales. Next time.

On the last day, we tried a different beach on the ocean side. I took photos, but also read, waded and relaxed too.

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So much happening here..

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Maybe we’ll go back in late August or September. Maybe even October. Maybe we won’t reunite with the ocean until our annual Florida trip in 2016. Maybe there will be whale tails and tales then. Maybe it’s all waiting for us. Anything’s possible.

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  1. Wow, this looks like such an amazing time. Is there anything better than the beach? One of my goals in life it to live within walking distance to a beach (climate change permitting)! Time most definitely is a jerk. My son is three and a half and I don’t really feel that the time has gone by too fast, which is good, but he has gotten too big. His legs are too long and his face is too adult-like; he’s going to be taller than me before I know it! The time passes slow, but he grows so fast. My daughter is two months old and I am savoring every single second and holding her as much as I can!

    1. Also, seriously? I’ve never been the first comment before! Also I wrote it at 11:43pm my time, not sure why I feel the need to clarify that ๐Ÿ™‚ (maybe to prove I’m not nocturnal? who even knows).

    2. I feel you about the beach! And the climate change freaks me out a lot.
      Des is newly(ish) three but I’m really feeling the having a three-year-old and not having a new baby thing. When Des was born and Scarlet was three, she looked (and sometimes acted) like a huge monster compared to him!

  2. The photo of Des on the potty. Just adorable!!! The photos just exudes happiness Tamara. Maybe there’s a different “whale moment” that’s meant for you guys in the future and it’s going to be a whole lot magical. My son waited for 3 years before his wish of “meeting” a whale shark came true (we had to save! LOL) and when it finally happened, I just wanted to cry! He was so happy! I’m glad he waited a few years before we made the trip because if we did when he was younger, I’m pretty sure he would forget most of it when he grows older. And I’m blabbing over here. Have a great week!!

    1. I loved your whale shark post so much!! That’s a life dream of mine too. So don’t be surprised if I crash your next family vacation. (just kidding)
      I think a lot about that – how if you do things when they’re too young, it’s less special if they won’t remember. I saw my first moose when I was 24. My first whale too! Oh so special.

  3. Whales are very cool… I’d love to see one out in “the wild” ! I’m laughing about the long skirt and the ladders… the issues men will never understand:)

    1. So true about men never understanding!

      I’ve seen 13 whales in my life (but who’s counting) in the wild and I’ve been close enough to touch them.
      It’s like nothing else.

  4. They saw a whale? No way! I have never seen one, well except for at SeaWorld and that always kind of makes me sad. Now I think you are really onto something here, I have your million dollar idea! Potties that are mobile for big people. Here is your tag line, “So you never have to miss a moment.” Good, right ๐Ÿ™‚ Now enjoy the rest of this summer, because the big old jerk time is going to come and yank it away sooner than you would like with the start of a new school year and homework.

    1. When we were at SeaWorld in 2014, the whale tank was under construction so we didn’t see any! Although I’ve seen beluga whales at aquariums. I had this epic whale watching experience in 2004 and none since!
      School is three weeks away now. Gulp.

  5. Maybe a potty with a view is something we grownups should look back into.

    The beach is not far from here in Carolina but it feels an eternity away. I didn’t go to one this summer. I didn’t go to a single baseball game. Summer forgot to CC me, apparently.

    1. ELI! It feels an eternity away but it isn’t. Get thee to the beach! Pronto! We have gone to an NC beach for a week, each of the past 5 years. It is almost my favorite place to be, ever. It makes my heart ache a little for you that you haven’t been yet. I hope you get to go soon.

    2. I think there are potties with views, right? I heard once that someone made one with one way glass. In which you could be sitting there on the john and you could see out, but people couldn’t see in.
      It begs the question – could you sit and do your business with people walking all around you, or would it psyche you out?
      My personal opinion is that if I knew a bathroom like that existed, I would stare creepily into it as if I COULD see into it, even though I couldn’t. Just to freak that person in there out.

      (I wouldn’t really do this)

  6. Your posts and pictures are always filled with magic. ๐Ÿ™‚ You think kindergarten is hard? My oldest is starting junior high!!! But summer is still far from over since we have the pre-teen (church) camp in Switzerland next week where Matthieu and I will be volunteering (gulp) and then another full week after that before we go back to school. Hugs Tamara!

    1. Thanks, my dear! Your posts have a magic too. I always come back for it.

      Junior high? Yeah, I bow before that. True story – if we had a second girl, we planned to name her Juliet. We needed something to match Scarlet – strong but not weird, but interesting. Something that makes you stop and think.

      We got a Des instead.

      If we ever have a third, which Scarlet and Cassidy are pushing for, but my ovaries are sort of telling me “meh”, they want a girl named Selena. After Selena Kyle from Batman. (nerds)

      I still want my Juliet!

  7. Looks like you had a beautiful vacation, despite missing the whale. Your photos make me want to go back on vacation.The first photos of Des (whose haircut I love btw) reminded me of the movie “This is Where I Leave You” – one boy carries his potty around throughout the movie. It’s pretty funny.

    1. His haircut was just before this was taken! It was a good one because it’s a month later and I’m not feeling desperate for a new one yet. Usually that has to happen first.
      I’ve totally seen that movie (and read the book) and the good thing is that Des has never thrown a full potty at anyone!

  8. Oh I love whales too! AND, your kids keep getting even more gorgeous. These pictures are dreamy–I haven’t been to a beach in a few years, and I ache from missing it. P.S. I LOVE that first picture!

    1. Thanks about my kids! They’re cuter and cuter to me with their fun-loving personalities.
      I miss the beach. The end of summer is too sad for me because I just.. want to live on a beach, I suppose.

  9. Great photos as always! That time guy really is a jerk. This summer has flown by faster than any other before, I think. There was so much I wanted to do. We did some of it, but not nearly all. Now, we have two weeks until the kids go back to school and I am sooooooo very NOT ready!

    1. We have three weeks left and I’m still checking off bucket list items as if I have all the time in the world. Ha!
      I do think summer was shorter than usual, though. We go back to school before Labor Day and that’s never happened to me in my life. I blame the large amount of snow days we had.

  10. After the first paragraph or two (three?) I wanted to get grumpy with you. For reminding me so very vividly at what I myself had realized just this weekend: The end of summer is getting close. But thanks to you great writing and wonderful photos you made my ‘grumbling’ disappear. I could almost hear the laughter and the waves on that beach. Truly something special, I get that you want to keep it that way. You’re idea of living in a beach town, but not right on the beach sound like a good plan to me. Although I still would not mind a beach house on or overlooking the beach ๐Ÿ™‚

    1. I know.. I know.. Getting grumpy with me is allowed.
      Although I’m glad it disappeared.
      We still have three weeks! Glass half full. And over a month of summer weather.

  11. Man, I totally remember summer feeling really long after college. Three months! It didn’t fly by the way it does now. I still had several weeks of play before my summer camp jobs started, and a car and pseudo-independence (minus my parents wanting me to check in on them when I went home). My boyfriend in college lived over an hour away, so there was no sneaking home, but there was sneaking out of his room to my guest room next door when we stayed at his place ๐Ÿ˜‰

    1. ha! I would sneak to his guest room door too. I could never understand being separated. Just a formality, really! Silly parents.
      And now I am one. And I would totally put my kids and their significant others in separate rooms!

  12. I have been living the ice cream every day philosophy this summer…and I probably shouldn’t! I miss the beach, and really want to blog about it now. I’ve also been fortunate in the whale viewing department; we saw a couple from the beach in California last summer!

    1. Me too! I think I’ve eaten ice cream every day for the past two weeks. Maybe the past two months. Same difference. I think it’s good for the soul which makes it at least partly healthy. And yes, sugar is bad or whatnot, but protein is good. So. Keep on keeping on.
      Whales from the beach in California? That’s my love language.

  13. Luscious Fall is feeling scorned by thy words in favor of summer. May there be no October/November hurricane because of his wrath against thee.

    Des could easily be the spokesperson for toilet trainees everywhere.

    1. ha! Let us hope. No hurricanes.
      Des is already 100% toilet trained. I think it’s because we made him sit on a toilet before beach fun began. It works like a charm when you bribe children with beach trips.

  14. I love this rambling, yet not, stream of consciousness, yet not. Even though you missed the whale, you certainly had a great view of your guys down below!

    Time is crazy like this and now I’m wondering more about time passing when this second baby arrives….:)

  15. Such a beautiful vacation, a beautiful family, and beautiful pictures. Yes, time is a jerk. I’m so panicked about this summer ending – because them my little boy will be starting his senior year of high school, and I’m not ready for how fast that will go. You need to come to my house, and I will show you lots of whales :)!

  16. There is just nothing like being at the beach. I love the pace that can be seen in the photos….slow and peaceful. I am not ready for summer to end either and Boys of Summer is a great summer tune!

    1. I love that tune very much!
      I really love beach house living. I love eating cold cuts and potato chips in between beach trips. I love reading and having sand everywhere and not ever thinking about what time it is.

  17. This has been the fastest summer of my life. We start back to homeschooling next week. We had a lot of fun this summer even though we didn’t go anywhere. Hopefully, next summer won’t go by so fast.
    Love the potty picture…lol

    1. Wow, it’s homeschooling time! Wishing you a good year with it. And a healthy year. Staying out of the schools will hopefully keep your family healthy.

  18. Wait. You MISSED THE WHALE?? I am SO bummed you didn’t get to capture a WHALE!! Whales are so fascinating to me- I think sharks and whales have always been like your moose- or whales before. I love your pics and this beautiful trip you so graciously introduced through your beautiful inspiring words and insights. <3

    Tomorrow is our last day of summer. I measured.

    1. I missed it! Missed the whale!
      Cassidy and Des saw it, though.
      I’ve seen a lot of whales in my life so I’m grateful for those moments.. but still!

  19. Oh man, you missed the whale. But you also got a great moment with Scarlet. Whales can be found again! Love all the beach pictures. And stop reminding me that summer is almost over!

    1. So true! Moments slip by and are often missed. There are other fish in the sea! Or mammals, really. If I called a whale a fish, Scarlet would be mortified by me. So would I!

  20. such beautiful photos! I too feel a way when summer starts to end…when it gets darker earlier when it takes extra long for the sun to come up–hmmm. enjoy every last minute, that season we love will be gone before we know it!

    1. It’s already starting.. no more 9:00pm sunsets. It’s ok because it’s slow but I remember that first Monday afternoon after we changed the clocks last fall. We stayed at the playground after school until 4:00 and it was dark out.
      I just..can’t. I can’t!!

  21. So completely amazing Tamara! Oh those beach photos! I so wish that we lived closer to the beach, but it is not in the cards, right now, maybe when I win publishers clearing house! LOL! Of course, the scenery is much better outdoors for potty time! LOL! Have a great week!

    1. Does anyone actually win Publishers Clearing House? Ha! If anyone has to win, I sincerely hope it’s you.
      If you ever make it to Salem, I have a house in Cape Cod you can stay at for free. Deal?

  22. I had a whole lot of emotions when Ben turned three, because that’s the age we had typically announced the next addition. While I’m okay with not having announcement, it was strange to pass that birthday all the same.

    1. Yes, it was strange for me! And I’m not fully committed either way to having a third or closing up shop. That ambivalence is weird. Maybe that’s the wrong word. Ambiguous? Undecided? Agnostic about a third kid? Now I’m just rambling.

  23. We’ve heard about quite a few sharks coming close to shore on Maryland and Delaware beaches, but a whale? So cool.

    I remember six and three…wonderful ages. But aren’t they all?

  24. beach days are the best. life just does seem better when the sun is warm on your face and the sound of the waves hits the shore. measuring time in sea gull cries and tide pools. this place looks fantastic!! I’d love to climb a lighthouse and look out somewhere beyond the sea.
    I always play this song on repeat at the end of every summer!! You would so be part of my tribe. ๐Ÿ™‚

    1. We are definitely already part of each other’s tribe, right?
      Sigh. Not the in person kind, though. Which is stupid. Meet me for a beer in 20, ok?

      1. 20 hours? sure no problem. I may have to stop for a beer (or two) along the way though…. because it’s a long drive and I’ll probably get thirsty. ๐Ÿ˜‰

        1. Hmm.. I could probably do it in less than 20 hours. We need to develop some sort of Star Trek beaming device or some sort of warp zone. YES! Warp zone. When you think you’re going the long way to level 4, but just go into a warp zone and then you’re having a beer with Rorybore!

  25. Oh, my hear hurts, looking at the pictures of the Cape. I didn’t;’t get my fix this year:(. I’ve taken the kids to the lighthouse in Truro, too. Beautiful!

    1. You’ve been to the lighthouse too! So awesome. My kids loved the snack bar. I loved the whale, even though I didn’t see it! I love that it was there. If I had been enjoying less and taking photos more, one of my photos from the top probably would have caught a whale tail if I had zoomed in Photoshop enough!

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