I've been sorting through pictures, and I'm surprised by how few I took this year. What accounts for that?
Part of it is that we didn't sail anyplace new. Last year we sailed to Annapolis, which offered many photo opportunities.
This year we anchored out at a spot we revisit annually. It didn't seem as new, so I didn't take as many pictures.
Part of it, too, is that we had a shorter trip.
And part of it is that my nephew didn't create costumes the way he has done in past years. It seems worth the effort to get the camera when he's dressed like Spiderman, but with a PFD strapped to him, or when he's dressed up in something we created together, like a Ninja pirate, but less so, when he's just being himself.
These reflections have made me think about what else has changed. In the past, before he learned to read, we created books that were essentially collections of pictures. At Thanksgiving, as he was just learning to read and write, we wrote stories into books that my nephew created by folding paper together. This summer, we created word finds and puzzle books.
There may not be much meaning here. But I am noticing that as he acquires linguistic skills, his play has changed.
Maybe the reason why he's not dressing in costumes has more to do with the excessive heat this year than with anything else. In the past, we've often arrived just as a cold front blew through and left cooler temperatures in its wake. Not this year.
I do wonder if he's creating less costumes and make believe situations because he's doing more reading about them.
Or maybe it's simply that this sailing trip was one for sitting on the bow, having conversations, enjoying the hammock. Below you see a picture of me and my sister; this one may go on to be one of my favorite pictures of all time.
In the end, I think the specific activities that we do with my nephew matter less than the fact that we're together, that we're showing interest in each other and each other's interests, that we're taking time out of our busy lives to reconnect: by talking or by writing stories or by drawing or by simply being together.