Saltus River Grill in Beaufort, SC! We had been dreaming about it for a whole year (for backstory, see here). And it was just as dreamy as we had dreamed it would be. The folks at Saltus even gave us dessert on the house — which was, honestly, the highlight of the night for the bambinos (we rarely order dessert). Owen chose creme brulee, Kyle chose strawberry profiteroles, and Meera chose an orange creme ice cream. They were in heaven! (The highlight of my night was that glass of prosecco!) Thank you to Saltus for another magical evening in Beaufort for the J-Ms!
We took another little SC day trip for Kyle and visited Fort Freemont (for the first time), and the Penn Center and the Red Piano Too (both of which we’ve been to a few times before). All three of these sites are on St. Helena Island — only about 15 minutes from the beach house.
Fort Freemont was eery and mysterious — Kyle loved it.
One of the things that I love most about the Lowcountry is our ability to easily give Kyle access to these sorts of experiences… and to experience them, and appreciate them, with him.
This year was our 7th annual “Haiti Dinner.” We have this dinner once each summer. Haitian Steak Frites (steak au poive with pomme frites). The tradition has a cool backstory — you can find it here (click).
This dinner is right up there as K&O’s #1 top favorite meal (tied only with Joe’s Shanghai Soup Dumplings). Meera got to stay up late to have it this year, which was a big deal, and a sign of the changing times (she’s growing on up!). She absolutely loved it. In the photo below you can see her swinging her head back in delirious deliciousness. She was saying, “ooooooh myyyyyyyyy gooooooooosh I LOVE IT! Kyle and Owen, THANK YOU FOR BEING HAITIAN!”
Also in the photo is another sign of the changing times. We’ve got two tweens folks. After one bite, Owen just haaaaaad to get on his iPhone to text his friends about this special dinner. The photo he sent them (a picture of his plate; totally unfiltered and unedited here) is what he texted out.
On the beach, she’s catching fiddler crabs!Like this one! Catch!Release! …But her release = Dash starts for the catch!(this is what they’re after! both of them just want to play with them, then let them go. they’ve spent HOURS doing this!)Meanwhile… In the water, the boys are after their own catch.And Dash is right there for the action!Catch! A catch in the net cast = a few minutes for Dash to play with it, then it’s onto the rod……for another catch!
…then release! …And their release = Dash’s turn to attempt the catch! (he never manages to get it in the water)
Yesterday, off of Harbor Island beach, Owen caught a dogfish shark on his rod. He caught it using mullet fish as bait. He caught the mullet in his net cast. He also caught another dogfish shark after this. He was so proud of himself!
Tonight, off of Harbor Island beach, Kyle caught a dogfish shark on his rod. He caught it with a squid as bait. The squid he caught in his net cast. He also caught two flounder. He was so proud of himself!
It has been about five years, maybe six, of constant, incessant, relentless begging, pleading, and “persuasive arguments” from both of them, but most of all from Kyle. It has been about a full decade of suspecting, somehow apprehensively knowing, that the time would come, but trying to hold it at bay nonetheless. It has been many conversations, with many people, from all sorts of perspectives on the matter. But it all comes down to two boys who — I’m fully sure — should not be held back any longer. The time has come. It has been a long time coming.
We’re letting them play football this fall.
Kyle, in particular, is beside himself with elation, excitement, and anticipation. I don’t think I’ve ever seen him so excited about anything. Every day he is overflowing with thoughts and a steady stream of football-related chatter. Our boy has been waiting for this for as long as he can remember, and now he’s counting down the days. It starts August 1.
For now, it is football on the beach. Every day. We’re settling in to it, wrapping our minds around it, and even I am actually beginning to enjoy the pre-season build-up.
It is hard to own up to letting them be entirely who they are. But they are who they are. And I’m not going to stand in the way of something that is intrinsic to their core. This is them. My job is to foster their flourishing, not constrain their capacities.
So, it has been a long journey to get here. But I’m here now, and I’m all in. I don’t jump in unless it is a full body splash into the deep end of the pool. I’ll be behind my football players 100%, even if I’d never have chosen it myself, and even as I’m cringing a teeny tiny bit, I will be screaming from the stands this fall, and making them power smoothies in the morning and doing stinky laundry at night and keeping ice packs in the freezer 24×7.
And I, for one, am very curious to see what these two will do in the football arena.