Spent the weekend just outside Aptos in a beautiful house that sat on a cliff overlooking the ocean: 2 dads, 4 kids, and one Ver. Yesterday afternoon the dads—prompting me to wonder if they had mistaken the weekend for Mother's Day weekend—took the kids, leaving me with nothing but a "See ya in a coupla hours," and the sound of their feet crunching the little stones on the winding path that led down, down, down to the empty beach.
Helpful Hint: you should never fully relax until about ten minutes after these kinds of departures because almost always someone returns needing sunblock or one last visit to the potty or a band-aid for the cut on their knee incurred four minutes after leaving. But that didn't happen this time.
I puttered around inside the house for a few minutes and then poured myself a Diet Pepsi Twist over ice and headed back out to the deck. I had the sun on my face, my iPod ready to go, and a stack of books at my side. It was a beautiful thing. Even more beautiful, it turned out, was not reading but just staring at the ocean, and not listening to music, but just anticipating the sound of every wave as it hit the beach. That's the closest I've come to quieting down my monkey-jumping-from-branch-to-branch mind.
One lovely weekend, two excellent dads.
And for your viewing enjoyment: the look of abject horror on Risa's face as she takes the plunge on the Logger's Revenge, Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk. I've chosen to digitally enlarge our friend's face so that he will no longer be free to continue his reign of amusement park terror over unsuspecting children...