Monday, July 16, 2007

"Once More Unto the Beach"

caption: Theo shows his winning form at the "Go fish" game on the boardwalk.

At Jenkinson's Boardwalk in Point Pleasant Beach, N.J., little five-year-old Theodore won a large, green, inflatable crayon at the fishing booth. Dad was extremely proud. "That's my boy." "Chip off the old block." So what if everyone's a winner at this entry-level carney game? One still has to land a fish. Well done, Theo.

He carried that crayon with him everywhere he went. You should have seen him. Proud as a peacock. He even dragged it into the diner on the way home, displaying it in all of its plastic glory to the waitress, who gamely played the role of amazed adult. Now if he'd only stop hitting his sister with it, we'd have all-around contentment.

How was the water? The sea was angry, my friend. So much so that the lifeguards called everyone out of the water, even Dad, who was hunting for mermaids between the waves. ("He could see them riding seaward in the waves, combing the white hair of the waves blown back as the wind blew the water white and black.")

Even little Natalie felt the power of the ocean. A wave raced up the beach and tripped her as she tried to escape its cold, frothy fingers. Somewhere, there's a good life lesson in there for Little Nat Nat.

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Where is your all-time favorite beach?

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

Our newest relative arrives

Caption: Elena looks a little bit like her father.

It seemed like yesterday when the East Coast Clarks assembled in front of a computer screen in Mimi's basement and learned that little Aaron, youngest member of the Clarks of Colorado, was expecting to become a big brother. Lo and behold, along comes Elena!

To pround parents Danny and Tedra, the Clarks of New Jersey salute you!

Here's some parenting advice from Rousseau:

"If [she] should fall or bump [her] head or make [her] nose bleed or cut [her] fingers, instead of rushing to [her] with an with an expression of alarm I will stay calm, at least at first. The harm is done; it is necessary that [she] endure it. All my fussing could only frighten [her] more and add to [her] sensibility. Basically it is not the blow but the fear of it which torments us when we are hurt. I will spare [her] this anquish at least, for [she] will certainly judge the injury as [she] sees me judge it. If [she] sees me running to [her] with worry to console [her], to pity [her], [she] will think [herself] dead. If [she] sees me keeping my cool [she] will soon recover [her] own and will think the wound is healed when it ceases to hurt. This is the time for [her] first lesson in courage, and by bearing slight ills without fear we gradually learn to bear greater ones."