Making Their Dad Proud

We couldn’t have asked for a more beautiful day at the beach. I smiled while I kept an eye on the kids. It was obvious that Ryan’s arm was getting tired. His two sisters, Madison and Regina, were looking around for things that might be able to help him out.

While I watched, Madison trawled for seaweed. She noticed Ryan was uncomfortable and tried to rush. Luckily for her brother, the pressure pushing against his arm had diminished and he was able to straighten up. “Hurry up!,” he yelled to Madison and Regina. He’s by far the most impatient one in the family.

“Don’t yell at your sisters,” I scolded. Still, I gently encouraged them to move faster. Part of me was wondering if my wife had used enough sunscreen on them.

“Time is a factor, kids,” I informed them. We were on a pretty tight schedule.

Madison brought the seaweed over to Ryan while Regina was arriving with a few heavy rocks. Regina set them down in front of where her brother was standing. She went back a few times and carried over more. Madison crouched, her butt in the water, and focused on slipping the seaweed underneath and around the rocks.

I stood, hands on my hips, and called out, “How does it look, kids?”

“I think we’re done!,” shouted Madison. She seemed proud of all the work they’d been doing. She’s never been particularly modest.

I looked back up the beach and all around. Then I strode out to where my kids had been working.

“You all did SUCH a great job!” I grabbed the three kids in a bear hug and they stood, watching as the tide came in over the area where they’d done their good work.

We walked together about a hundred feet down the beach and stood on the shore. It was time for me to give them their little quiz.

“Now remember kids, Mom will be back in a few minutes. What do we do when we see her coming?”

Regina piped up. “We pretend cry and look around in the water!”

“That’s right! How about you, Ryan, what are you going to say?”

Ryan stood proudly with his hands on his hips. “I say that Jason fell out of my hug into the ocean when a wave came and we can’t find him.”

“Atta boy!,” I crowed. I turned to Madison. “Maddie, are you excited to have your bedroom all to yourself again? No more crib and no more crying?”

Madison smiled shyly at her tall, strong father. “Yes Daddy,” she said.

“Good!,” I exclaimed, grinning. “And now your mom and I can have more money to buy you guys presents for being such great kids.” I glanced over to my left. “And I think that person walking waaaaay down the beach is Mom. You all ready?”

“Yeah!,” the kids yelled in unison.

“Go for it!,” I encouraged, blinking away the tears of pride that had started to well up in my eyes.

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