Today we went to the beach. That simple enough statement represents a HUGE accomplishment on our part! It's Ellie's second time at the beach ever and my second time going since before she was born. That's something considering how much I love the water and as a former surfer. It was an amazing afternoon of firsts for me and Ellie. Thanks to Linda forever and ever for making this happen. I would have never found this lovely beach or been able to go without you! Since it is a fact that I am on the verge of going bonkers home bound on crutches and under doctors orders not to drive you have done a great deal for my tenuous grip on sanity as well!
We went to Nataskit beach which was not crowded and accessible albeits crumbling cement, storm crushed ramps. Crutches and stroller made it to the sand alike. Beautiful, hard packed, lovely fine, soft sand. Ellie enjoyed feeling the sand on her feet and we played where are Ellie's feet a lot. She would reach down and grab a handful of sand on her feet and get excited and throw it everywhere! It was GREAT. And I was impressed that she just reached down to touch a thing she had not seen for a couple of years - sand. The water in the tidal pools abandoned by the outgoing surge was warm as a bath and placid as one too. She reached down to pull up handfuls of wet sand. I wish we could of just sat her in it to play. We couldn't however because we were really concerned about getting sand in her g-tube. I did wrap plastic wrap around her belly but I could see sand getting underneath it. The last thing you want going into her tummy is sand. Next time I think I will cover her entire tube and dressing with duoderm and make a tiny slit over the feeding port and then cover that with duoderm again so that I can access it to feed her. (see the things we deal with that no parent in their right mind would ever consider!)
If anyone has a kid with a g-tube can help in this matter I would dearly love to hear what you do to keep the sand out.
At the beach, ever a learning opportunity, we discussed the Atlantic Ocean and who lived there including shrimp, crab, lobster, whale and fish. Ellie saw waves and reached down to touch them. She even got a little sun on her face for the first time - the slightest of pink blushes which I think is already turning a golden brown. She definitely inherited her fathers' great skin!
We finished up the experience by taking a look at the horses of the carousel. Ellie was not bothered by the music which was also not too loud (more evidence of the good work they are doing with her at New School). Though we didn't ride them this time (because I don't want to do too much too soon considering her sensory integration issues) she was happy to go up to the horses and pet their bejeweled and painted necks. I think she really liked them. We will go for a ride eventually, baby steps but certainly in the near future considering Ellie's smile at petting the horse and the fact that she was nonplussed by the environment. I can't wait. I love carousels and haven't been on one in years!
I am happy too to have found a local beach that is so pretty and so accessible. No more sitting around sweltering in summer's cauldron! Thanks Linda for a GREAT day!