That nippiness (it's a word, at least in my house) didn't stop Chesapeake Bay Daughter from taking off her shoes and socks for our stroll down the beach.
Chesapeake Bay Son and Daughter were born when I lived in Northern Virginia. After they came along, the urge to make more money, to work fancy schmancy jobs and to live in a place where the neighbors can see your every move really started losing its appeal.
When I thought back on my own childhood, which was full of long, lazy days exploring and playing outside; with little to no contact with civilization; where the friends you had in kindergarten were still your friends in high school; and where much of the landscape is untouched and undeveloped; I realized I wanted my own children to grow up in a rural environment away from the hustle and bustle and the fast, hurried pace of city life.
Don't get me wrong - I am not trying to disparage city life. It's just not my cup of tea. Just like living 40 miles from the nearest Kohls or Rack Room Shoes or Target or Best Buy or Costco may not be someone else's cup of tea. It's a matter of opinion and personal preference, although sometimes there is no choice in the matter due to employment, proximity to family, etc.
This angst about my children growing up in an urban environment coincided with a call from my parents who very generously said that if I were interested in moving back home, there was an empty house waiting: the same house I grew up in, right on the water. They were going to live next door at my grandfather's old house.
They didn't have to ask me twice. The stars and planets aligned, I landed a job within commuting distance, and we came home to Mathews.
And now my kids can stroll barefoot in January down an undeveloped beach. They can hop in the canoe and explore Miller's Cove; they can go off for hours to play in the woods across the creek where they most definitely are trespassing on someone else's property.
OK, that last one makes me nervous, so let's not talk about that.
Am I sheltering them too much?
Perhaps. But they're OK with that. And so am I.