Over the birthday weekend, a friend generously allowed us to stay in his family's cabin, as I've mentioned. The semi-getaway was great for Mark, key for me, but really, such a gift for Dylan.
There's just nothing like going to the end of the world and playing on a beach that feels like it's all your own. With sand dollars and clams and barnacles and tides that never stop shifting and changing, no batteries are required. Along with a giant comfy sofa and a rocking gas fireplace, the log cabin included a sturdy rowboat and a small dock. The kids played below while we adults relaxed on the dock and discussed the purely mythical pros and cons of owning the various sailboats that passed through our view.
Dylan and his buddy manhandled the boat off its perch and all the way down to the water, for Dylan to use later with whatever grown-up he could corral. Then they spent about 3 hours investigating all the natural treasures the inter-tidal has to offer. Movies on the DVD became voluntarily restricted to the hours after sunset. Even our good friends' 3-year old squealed with delight and was eager to be outdoors.
Connecting to the world beyond concrete and electronics - sometimes I think it's one of the greatest gifts we have to offer.