Summer’s End at Seacliff Beach

For Kelly’s last summer day before she had to officially step into school, I took her to the beach. I let her choose the beach, because while my favorite is the relatively quiet New Brighton Beach, I though Kelly might have her own preferences at this point. And she did.

She asked me to take her to Seacliff Beach which has a nature center with a touchtank, and a decrepit cement boat at the end of the pier. I think Seacliff often smells funny, perhaps because of the decaying ship or because of all the birds on it, but it’s a general favorite for all it offers, which besides the nature center and a pier, also has a snack shack and beachside parking.

It was a great day for the beach. The fog burned off just as we arrived. Kelly loved seeing and talking to all the seastars and anemones, as well as Charlie, the young shark who’s outgrown his tank and being sent off to the Aquarium of the Bay next month.

It wasn’t too hot or too cold, and Kelly worked on a sand project, which included collecting driftwood and feathers.

To my horror, she also seemed inclined towards surfing because she willingly let herself be sucked out with the waves and bodysurfed them in. I can’t tell how well she’d do because I kept a firm grip on her arms the entire time. I had thought about getting Neil a skimboard or a boogieboard so he could enjoy the beach too (as it is he opted to do schoolwork at Peter’s office instead), but I have to think Kelly would take the board from Neil before Neil had a chance to try it…

The new bathing suit she got at the end of the season last year has already been worn out, so she put on a unitard, which I thought might prevent her from being too sandy. But it was even better than a regular bathing suit at keeping sand in, and it didn’t help that Kelly liked doing headstands on top of her sandcastles.

She visited the seastars again twice while we were at the beach, and wished them a poignant goodbye as we saw them last just before leaving. And so our summer ended.

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