I had the opportunity to take pictures of Gracia on her twelfth birthday. I have known her and her sweet family since she was a tiny girl, and I was amazed at what was transpiring in front of my lens: giggling girls who would occasionally shoot me a womanly look; one foot in girlhood, and the other foot testing the waters of young womanhood. A lovely, and difficult age, if I remember correctly with my own four tempestuous females.
Grand Isle State Park is at the tip of Louisiana. The waves were gentle, which disappointed the girls. There was also a lot of seaweed that the park service raked into piles. But on the upside…there were a lot of crabs! We caught hermit crabs, and Matt caught a bucket of stone crabs (I think) for us to eat. With his bare hands. Highly entertaining, but they were too gritty to consume.
The first morning the kids ran out in front of us to get in the water. When Marcus and I arrived, the kids were huddled on the beach: SHARKS! I couldn’t make myself believe there were dozens of sharks waiting to devour the kids with nary a warning from the park rangers. So I asked the official-looking person studying a dead sea turtle. He said they didn’t see too many sharks, but they saw lots of porpoises! Matt and I explored further down the beach. A wave broke about 20 feet from us…and in the wave was an extra-large porpoise! They swim in groups in the morning to feed on the fish near shore. It is rather alarming to see them so close (they are huge!), but we were relieved we wouldn’t be eaten. At least some of us were relieved. Some of my children
Rebecca were still convinced there was a shark or two cruising nearby.
Other items of note:
Matt, Nebraska and Ashley shelled more shrimp than you could shake a stick at. The jambalaya we made was FANTASTIC.
We spent the evenings reading and playing cards in the camper away from mosquitoes.
We got burned to a crisp the last day. We reapplied that sunblock, but 6 hours in the sun was too much.
Ashley found a pallet in the water, and turned it into a raft. The kids played with it for hours.
We brought home many beautiful snail shells.
This beach wasn’t as nice as the beach we visited in Alabama, but we enjoyed exploring a new place with its own unique beauty on the Gulf of Mexico.
I missed Maddie’s prom last year when I went to visit my oldest daughter in Indiana. This year I tried to redeem myself by taking LOTS OF PICTURES. I’m thankful Maddie was a gamer and balanced on those high-heeled shoes out in the field. She aerated the lawn with them, too.
I have realized how important it is to be present for my kids. They don’t ask for much-Maddie didn’t need help getting ready, and I didn’t need to prepare anything. She just wanted me to be there to see the process, the finished product, and celebrate the moment with her before she went off to dinner and dancing with her friends. And I gladly did it. What made it even better was listening to her favorite comedian and belly laughing while trying to paint the stairwell. I’m thankful I didn’t roll down the stairs.
Love you, MP!
My camera is collecting dust except for projects I have to shoot.
I mentioned a photo project to my oldest daughter, who assumed a “mention” meant I was planning on it.
So here I am. If I can do something fun with my daughter who lives over 600 miles away, then let’s do this thing!
This picture was taken yesterday, when my third daughter was trying to tie a scarf before school. She isn’t a morning person, and the scarf wasn’t cooperating. Hence, the scowl.
I love you too, honey.