Twirl in the hot-tub nicely heated by C.J.'s dad
C.J.'s dad made pancakes and we just hung around for a bit. Twirl was still pretty quiet but I could tell he was excited for the day. C.J. had shown him his hula hoop skills the night before and let me tell you, they are impressive. That kid is a master of the hula hoop. Twirl was determined to pick up this skill, so he headed out to the backyard for some practice. C.J.'s dad helped him with his technique, and he started to get the hang of it. Note to self, get hula hoops when we return home.
The master on the right and his apprentice on the left
We packed up and headed to the beach. Twirl and C.J. played iPads and talked fashion in the back seat. There was a lot of sass. It was really fun to hear them connecting and telling each other what apps they MUST get. When we parked, the boys hopped out and both immediately ran up to a kids clothing store. Same minds these two…
checking out the goods
On the beach the boys ran and played in the water. West coast water is cold! But typical kids, they didn't seem to mind. After a bit Twirl came up to where we were sitting and started digging a hole. When we go to the beach each year, one of Twirl's uncles digs a huge hole, a real shovel is involved and it winds up the size of a hot tub. "What are you doing?" asked C.J's brother, "I am digging a hole" replied Twirl. "Why?" "Just because". C.J.'s brother decided that seemed like a decent answer and joined in. It wasn't long before C.J. walks up and the same question is asked to which C.J.'s brother and Twirl reply "just because" Now 3 of them are working on the hole.
They were super serious about this hole. Seriously, they worked on another one further down the beach.
We worked our way over to the tide pools after we talked them out of leaving their hole. Climbing over the rocks and exploring all the little creatures was really fun. All three of the boys had a great time standing on rocks and watching the waves come crashing in. Twirl was a little unsteady and C.J.'s brother grabbed his hand (insert swoon). Can I just pause to tell you how awesome C.J.;s brother is? I see great things in that kid's future. I had a great time joking around with him. He is hilarious and I really enjoyed how fast he connected to Twirl.
C.J. and Twirl on the rocks
C.J.'s brother looking out for Twirl
me and my boy
The kids continued to play while we all chatted. It was like we had hung out many times before, discussing the boys, crazy friends and the differences in GA and CA. They don't have a lot of bugs there; we do. They barely have rain; sometimes I mistake our city for Seattle. They have hills and some trees; we have flatness and tons of trees. The similarities in our families, however, is striking, so many shared scenarios. Much like Cory, C.J.'s dad looks all the parts of a tough guy, but is so loving and affectionate with his kids. I already had been texting Cory "We must all come visit next time, this place is amazing, but C.J.'s family is the most amazing and you HAVE to meet them."
After some ice-cream and window shopping we headed back to C.J.'s house. Next thing I know my boy bounces downstairs in a Monster high skirt, sequin vest and black boots. Yup, looks like Twirl is totally comfortable here. The rest of the afternoon was filled with trampoline tricks, fashion talk and some early evening swimming. We finished the night off with some s'mores and possibly some toxic chemicals from the fire, but that remains to be seen.
The following day Twirl completely mastered the hula hoop. He has some good style. The boys did some sewing and had a low key early afternoon. Later that day Lori had arranged for some people from their gender non-conforming playgroup to come over. She is going to blog about that soon, and it will be worth the wait.It was an amazing time with magical kids.
C.J.'s dad observes his technique, I think he approves.
When we woke up on the last day Twirl was crying. "Why can't we just stay at C.J.'s? Daddy, Firecracker and Tornado can just take a plane and be with us." I totally understood where he was coming from. We just spent a weekend with a family like ours, where we could totally be ourselves, and I didn't have to worry about any judgement. This family understood how amazing our kid was. They got it, they were living it too. I assured Twirl that this was not the last time. We would be back and I bet they might even come visit us too. We didn't realize it at the time but just a month later Lori and C.J.'s dad would be in NYC the same weekend we were celebrating our 10th wedding anniversary. Cory and C.J.'s dad got to meet and we were able hang out together that weekend.
Saying goodbye at the airport, Twirl is happy here but he was upset all through security. I bribed him with snacks to cheer him up, do you blame me?
This has been so great for our whole family. We can't wait to be together again and we can't thank C.J.'s family enough for welcoming us into their home and their life. We hope soon we can host and introduce them to our life, maybe some bugs, rain and, of course, the Waffle House.