Yesterday, we went to a BBQ at one of Shannon’s co-worker’s house. Tom, and his wife, Laurie, came to one of our copious BBQs this year. They have a 1 year old named Paige, and a nice house north of here on a bluff overlooking Lake Michigan.
Laurie had mentioned that there was a path down to the water, and a small beach at the bottom. When we say “path”, think “deer path”, as in little more than a trail of exposed dirt that winds, zig-zags, and drops at potentially hazardous angles. I wanted to take a look at the lake shore, but wasn’t sure how safe it would be for the little ones.
There is no intersection between the set of: being polite to your hosts, and asking for permission before interloping on their property; and the set of: let’s leave the kids up here because it may be dangerous to them, dangerous to us, and plain common sense. So, as soon as the words passed my lips, did Alex ask, “Can I come?”. And, as soon as synapse number 2 fired trying to think of a tactful, strategic, and gentle way to say no, did Beth say, “Can I come too?”
Hey! It’s a safari!
So Shannon and I, each with a child in hand, slowly scaled down the path. We were teetering between slipping down the hill taking a child with us, and having a child slip down the hill, and having them pull us down when their feet went out.
When we did get to the bottom, there was a beach about two feet wide covered in well rounded stones and pebbles. It would be easy to guess this is what the shoreline of Lake Michigan was 100 years ago, before condos existed. Beth found a stone about as large as her head, but flat instead of round. It was white with many nooks and holes in it. Looking at it, I guessed it was a piece of coral from eons ago. I turned it over and discovered a fossil on the surface. It looked like an unrolled pill bug. I showed it to the kids, who were so impressed by it, they asked if we could throw it into the water.
Alex picked up a gray stone the size of his hand and showed it to me. It didn’t have a straight edge on any surface. I declared, “Alex this stone is so smooth, it’s as smooth as your butt!” Alex moved the rock from this right hand to left, then with his right hand rubbed his butt cheek and said, “It is!”