Endless Summer, 2015

Every time I slip into the ocean, it’s like going home.

-Sylvia Earle

We live on the coast of Maine. I go to the beach all year long but my favorite time to go is in summer. Our summer is a fleeting season — in between Mud Season (or what most states experience as Spring) and Fall.

‘Going to the beach’ is an ever present thought. It is my church. Body surfing is my communion.

I am a Beach Person – I begin mourning its’ end before it starts. I go with loved ones who say things like: “Do you believe how lucky we are?”

Daddy and Thorin

Daddy and Thorin

I was worried how things would change for me at The Beach with Thorin. The first couple years were not too different because Thorin preferred Ward to me. So Ward did all the parent work at the beach. Then Ward starting staying home to garden and Thorin still wanted to go to the beach even if it was with me.

I wasn’t alone though. My sister helped me tons as did Johannah who has a daughter, Ella, a couple years older than Thorin—who he idolizes. It was still pretty much The Beach. I was still free.

Ella and Thorin still going strong in 2015.

Ella and Thorin still going strong in 2015.

Then Thorin “discovered” the ocean himself and wouldn’t leave it. In fact leaving the beach became a battle I mostly lost it at– whinnying, crying, pleading. Thorin was: Harshing my buzz, Man.

Ward took pity on me. He would teach Thorin gardening. I happily went off to the beach after telling Thorin I was going to Target. I’m not a complete jerk, I did take him every other time.

Then as this summer approached I realized: “Holy crap! I’m now a SAHM! We could be going all the time if he wasn’t such a jerk.” Yes, I am editorializing.

In May, I told him we needed to talk. Like all males he ran out of the room. I offered a Popsicle to get him back.

“Thorin, I have to be honest with you. Most of the times I said I was going to Target last summer I was going to the beach without you.”

He dropped the Popsicle. That made me feel awful.

“I’m sorry but it’s not fun. All the arguing. I love the beach. I don’t want to fight”

He dropped his head. I am a horrible person.

“Thorin, if we could work as a team at the beach we could go all the time.”

His head snapped back up.

“Do you want that?”


We went from there. We would have fun and not argue. We had a couple rough moments as we sorted out our new roles.

Not very happy leaving the beach.

Not very happy leaving the beach.

For the most part he did as asked and I realized I loved watching Thorin love The Beach. In fact, my loving the beach became loving Thorin being with me.


Beach People

He body surfed and waited patiently on the beach so I could, too. The beach became something different for both of us. We were no longer selfish. We were Buds.

Thorin and I

Thorin and I

Last week we got an extended bit of summer with weather in the 80’s. As unschooler’s we schooled at the beach all week long.

Thorin and I are lucky to be Beach People. This year we will both mourn the end of summer together and plan for next year being better than ever.

Tuesday, September 22 is the last day of the (astronomical) summer (Northern Hemisphere) 2015.  

A friendly visitor.

A friendly visitor.

This entry was posted in beach', Down syndrome, homeschooling, Maine, unschooling and tagged , , , , by Kari Wagner-Peck. Bookmark the permalink.

About Kari Wagner-Peck

Kari Wagner-Peck lives with her husband and son in Maine. She is a writer & storyteller who home schools with her son. She is the author of the memoir Not Always Happy: An Unusual Parenting Journey, May, 2017, Central Recovery Press. She has been published at CNN, Psychology Today online, The New York Times Well Family blog, The Huffington Post, The The Good Men Project, The Sydney Morning Herald Daily Life blog, BLOOM and Love That Max among others. Author page: kariwagnerpeck.com Twitter @KariWagnerPeck and Facebook: www.facebook.com/NotAlwaysHappyLive/ Email: kariwagnerpeck@gmail.com

4 thoughts on “Endless Summer, 2015

  1. Kari, I loved this post because I, too, am a beach person. This summer, I hardly got to the beach, and I’m said about that. I hope you and Thorin plan for many, many fun beach adventures next year!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s