Today was different because we went with another mom and her two kids. I'm very motivated to do things when there is a social aspect to the activity - even difficult activities like dragging three kids and all their gear to the beach and back.
Early in the trip, I took the three older kids down to the water to fill up some buckets while my friend played with the babies in the sand under our umbrellas. Zeke ran into the water, not even pausing to notice the lower than 60 degree temperature. I yelled at him several times to come back and stay close to me, but he usually got distracted and forgot. Ben took his time getting used to the chilly water, but he quickly committed to some big splashing. The three-year old friend we brought along wouldn't go near the water. Wouldn't even dip his toe in. He stood where it was safe and gave me his bucket to fill for him. What an amazing kid.
Playing croquet at the beach.Ben was gathering water in a spot where two competing currents were sucking the waves back with a strong pull (a typical rip current), and the waves were getting bigger with the rising tide. I saw the problem quickly, but I couldn't get to him fast enough. I saw a wave surprise Ben and he went down on his bum, still holding his bucket against the current to fill it. He wasn't going to let go of that bucket and it was acting like a sail, sucking him down and back with the water. As I ran I shouted, "Let go of the bucket! I don't care about the old dumb bucket! I care about Ben!" Then I was there and I grabbed his arm. He let go of the bucket at the same time and I dug in my feet and pulled him up against the current. Then I carried him up onto the beach and he stood there dripping, staring out at the water.
I stood between him and the ocean, looking back only to see if Zeke needed a rescue.
After a minute his face got very sad and, still looking at the water, he said, "Mom? What happened to the old, dumb, bucket?"
About an hour later I spotted it washed ashore and now, both Ben and bucket are safely home.