Beach Bums

Thanks to my dad and step-mom, my family got to go on a vacation to Cape Hatteras (Outer Banks). I haven’t traveled with my dad since I was 19 (when, true story, we camped in a parking lot in downtown Toronto). Silas hasn’t been to the beach for about a year and a half–not since we were at Lake Michigan. Petra had never seen the ocean at all, of course.

JC’s not much of a beach person, but he did pretty well overall. I think he’s mellowing out.

Both the kids were a bit frightened of the ocean waves. Silas got very upset if anyone at all got in the water, saying he was worried that we would “wash away.” I was so busy making sure everyone else was packed and ready to go that I forgot my own bathing suit. For a beach vacation. This ended up not mattering, as Silas wouldn’t let me get my shins wet. As JC pointed out, one evening as we walked along the beach, for a kid who has spent his whole life in a river valley, just being able to see where the earth curves away in the distance must be a little terrifying. The sky does feel big there.

Silas would tolerate playing in the sand on “the beach with no waves” (the sound side of the island), but even there, he was leery of the water. Petra wanted to crawl into it, but then couldn’t figure out how to back up, so she got a bit upset, too.

Other than the stress of trying to keep Silas from freaking out too much, we had a relaxing trip. Dad and Robyn even watched the kids one evening so JC and I could go out for a dinner by ourselves. We literally haven’t done this since Petra was born, so it’s been nearly a year.

Silas greatly enjoyed the ferry ride to Ocracoke. The concept of driving onto a boat blew his mind.

Both kids also enjoyed getting to spend so much concentrated time with my folks. They haven’t done that before. Usually it’s just a day here, a day there, as we all juggle holiday obligations. Silas kept insisting that they read to him and wheedling treats out of them. This kid has the grandparent concept mastered.

I didn’t get many pictures–my hands were pretty full. We had a wonderful time, though, and we’re so glad we were able to do this.


Aili Written by:


  1. Brittany
    September 3, 2013

    I love the Outer Banks! We didn’t go this year (we normally go to Duck) and I missed it!!

  2. September 3, 2013

    The whole thing sounds delightful. Loved seeing the pictures you did get. That Ocracoke ferry is so cool, was on it many times when I went to O a lot. Used to go every year, stay for free and shoot catalogue photos for a friend who owned a gift store there. Oceans can indeed be terrifying for children. You might enjoy “Quiet” by Susan Cairn. It’s about introverts, but there is a little part where she talks about introducing sensitive kids to the ocean. Take yer swimsuit next time 🙂

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