Please Hold
Now Imagine 10 Years of This, People

When I See You Smile

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I sat and watched Noah and Jason play in the sand -- digging holes and ponds and building bucket-castles. And I sat and watched them play in the ocean -- and I would realize that I was smiling. A big, goofy, squinty, involuntary smile. Every time I looked at him. I couldn't help it.

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The last time we went to the beach, Noah was a baby. He couldn't walk or do much beyond shove handfuls of sand in his mouth or squeal when we dipped his feet in the water.

This time he could run and dig and splash on his own, just cautious enough to ask "Hole my hand? Hole my hand?" each time we'd take him down to the water. The beach was the most exciting, most fun, most greatest thing in the entire world, and the joy would sometimes bubble up over and he'd toss his hands in the air and scream. We heard him murmur "beach, water, ocean, beach" quietly in his sleep at night.

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But sometimes, as I sat and watched, I still saw that little baby. The round little belly and the barest hint of chub where wrist meets hand. The excited babble of sounds and shrieks instead of words. There was something about wet hair and shivering lips that made him look so small, so vulnerable, so perfect.

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He could play and swim and play for hours, and we watched and smiled, wishing we could give him more time here, wondering whether he's old enough to remember this trip, with his Nemo bucket and the big holes Daddy dug in the sand and the taste of grit in his peanut butter and jelly.

And when I wrapped him up in a towel and held him close while he shivered and struggled against his heavy eyelids, his head against my chest and his baby brother kicking from within, I promised to remember. And to thank him one day for letting me see the world for the first time all over again.

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Comments

Deb McGee

wtf? sorry for the multiple posts!

Nina

Amy, I know this is a happy post, but you're making me tear up.

I know that your little boy is blonde and white and mine is black haired and Asian, but um, Noah reminds me so much of my Cai. They're about the same age and I totally feel you on that whole passing from babyhood into boyhood thing. Ack!

So sweet. And making me want to take Caius to the beach.

HouseofJules

I think you just did. Beautifully written!
Jules
House of Jules

Barb

SAND HOLES ARE VERY DANGEROUS!!

Sorry to have to say this on such a lovely post but my heart leaped into my throat with fear when I saw that 1st photo.

Please, please, please don't let your babies (and husbands!) play in sand holes. They can collapse without warning, causing suffocation.

I am so glad that Noah liked the beach though :-)

Wendy

Ok, that made me cry buckets! I'm getting ready to take my almost 3 year old to the beach this weekend for the 2nd time in her life. I can't wait to see her reaction to it this time!

You have such an amazing gift of words. Beautiful ;)

Michelle

Seriously, the comparison in those last two photos is phenomenal. Absolutely fabulous.

Heather

Dammit Amalah with all your dramalah! You just made me so teary eyed and sniffy I need to put the laptop down, go kiss my little sleeping man and blow my nose. That was damn precious.

Tonya

ah, christ. you just made another pregnant lady cry.

canape

Pulled me out of my feed reader, you did.

What I love about this post is that you have given me the courage to want a second child again.

I always wanted two, but since my first arrived six months ago, I've doubted that decision.

Reading this about your first, knowing how close you are to your second? Gives me great hope.

Thanks.

Peggy

awwwww so sweet What a beautiful post

Asianmommy

Awww..he still looks the same, from the back.

midlife mommy

I know you will get a million comments about how sweet Noah looks, and how beautiful the writing is (both true), but honestly, those last two pictures just did me in. So sweet!

Cate

Ok, my two boys are off at boy scout camp. They are 11 (as of yesterday -- he wasn't even home!) and 13. And you just made me cry. In a good way.

motherbumper

way to make me cry (simply beautiful)

Katrisha

:*) Very sweet. I'm glad you guys are having such a meaningful time on vacation. What a wonderful memory to be able to store away for future walks down that lane.

supertiff

my god, you make the internet weep.
thanks for letting us remember, too.
(missy wants me to say this comment is from her, too)

meghan

Beautiful.

Kai

You totally make the internet weep. And I'm a total sucker for words, but holy cow did the juxtaposition of those two last pictures do me in.

cagey

Amy, what a sweet post. Simply lovely.

That's what it is really about and you captured it all so eloquently.

Sidenote: Thank you for showing folks the beauty of taking one's kids on trips. Sure, it is a lot of trouble and work and stress, but the memories are priceless. I have never had a regret taking my kids on a trip.

All Adither

Shivers.

molly

Lovely. I've never cried at such a short and sweet entry before, but those last two pictures next to each other...

Beth

Beautifully said - I love moments like that. I don't know if you're familiar with Mary Engelbreit, but your words, and the great photos reminded me of her illustration: http://shop.maryengelbreit.com/detail.aspx?ID=6652
Two adorable little boys on the beach!

Natalie

Sheesh, did you have to go and make me cry? It's not even 9am yet.

That was beautiful.

Jennifer

Those last two pictures are awesome.... the baby compared to the "young man" picture. Awww!

Big Momma Pimpalishisness

The beach always makes me wave my hands over my head and shriek too.

Christie

bwahhhhh!! Thanks for the tears!

gwendomama

previous post: love that 'Sleep is For the Weak' in on the nightstand next to passed out Noah.

Maureen

I'm going away to the beach for the first time with my one year old next week. I've mostly been terrified of the flight and other passengers beating me with their ipods and laptops.
Thanks for reminding me about the fun parts of going to the beach.
Including the whole sand eating thing.

Kelly

I agree with the copy and paste idea for the scrapbook...absolutely beautiful post and pictures Amy!!

iMommy

Love, love love the two pictures with his back to you - wow!

MamaCass

I feel ya. This is beautiful. It's amazing how fast the time goes, and how much they change. I had lots of similar feelings when I was pregnant with my second. Now she's five months old, and I'm already in disbelief at how quickly it is going...again. This time in their lives is amazing.

debi

They grow so fast, blink and you will miss something. In one picture he looks like he's digging to China. Also, 2 of those pics reminded me of my daughters favorite film,"Holes".

Cristin

Oh, you write so well. "I hope you still feel small when you stand beside the ocean." That's what this post reminded me of and made me all misty eyed. I recently moved to the Jersey shore from NoVa and always smile when I see toddlers waddle up to the ocean cautiously, their parents right behind them with a camera. So cute I could just puke. Love it.

Liana

*weep!*
Beautifully written.

Noah kinda looks like Jason in those photos, I think...it's so neat how we can see both of you when we see him, depending on the facial expression, etc.

And of course, those comparison photos of boy Noah and baby Noah- no words for that... :)

Kate

Stop that! I just got to work and you're making me teary! I can't start a Friday like this, all warm and fuzzy feeling! That post was awesome.

Amy

I know I can't say much that hasn't been said here already, but, wow. I have a four year old daughter and you just couldn't have said it any better.

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