Wednesday, July 2, 2014

Green Lakes State Park and a few reflective thoughts

On Monday, we got a late start and I made the decision that Green Lakes State park was closer then Fair Haven State Park, so we headed towards Dewitt, NY for the beach.

First stop was breakfast. Have you ever had breakfast at Friendly's? It's not like Denny's!!! Friendly's is much better as a lunch/dinner and most appropriate ICE CREAM! Breakfast not so much. It was good, but me and the boys were really hoping for something more like Denny's. Oh well. Full at least, we had our breakfast and then we were off to Green Lakes.

The beach was packed for a tired old Monday. I was actually surprised. We found ourselves a spot in the sand and Gavin complained that it was NOT a real beach, before he and Ben were off to take a swim.

Admittedly it's not the ocean, it's not even on one of our local "big" lakes, but the water is BEAUTIFUL.

After a wade in the lake and a wish that I had brought my suit (It is the beach duh!), I made my way back to the welcoming beach chairs and my book.
 The sea gulls squawked and hovered overhead, and the summer heat began to suffocate, making reading and even sitting increasingly difficult. I waded a bit more searching the small beach area for the boys who had made it to the jumping docks.
When I was a kid there were diving boards setting off the small docks. I remembered waiting in line for what seemed like forever to take my turn and jump. As I waited I would watch the brave soles who would climb the ladder to the high dive, and wished I had the same bravery. I don't recall if I ever got brave enough to make that climb and jump, but it was too late now, the docks sit empty of diving boards. I wonder how us kids of the 70's-80's survived?

Green Lakes has anyways been reminiscent of my own youthful summer vacations. Close enough to the city, but not far enough away to be a frequented swimming hole.  Plenty of picnics, Birthday Parties, and long long long days of swimming were spent here as a child. I remember them fondly. 
I would plea and beg for my mother to take me to Green Lakes, or anywhere that had water. I wished more then anything in the whole wide world that we had a pool of our own growing up. I think of my own children and wonder if such memories will befall them. I question it often, and think the luxuries I yearned for as a kid pool's, day trips, vacations to anywhere.. are nothing but a part of life and often boring for my youngest. My thoughts continued as I watch the two boys play in the water, and I am assured that at least Gavin's memories of this place will be quiet honestly not so memorable. 
They return, Ben disgruntled by Gavin's need to throw sand at him. He announces right away, It's boring here, when can we go. A little surprised, but Gavin's interests sustain short bouts of attention. He is just not that kid who enjoys a good hike in the woods, a nice stroll along a beach searching for tiny shells, long walks out to the very tip of a pier jetting into the sea. 

Ben however,  is willing to take a walk with me in the wooded area of the park. This is a good time to talk with him about the possibility of he and his "other" family moving to Florida. His mother has put their house on the market with plans to move to Florida as soon as possible. This could be our last summer like this. Gavin is not aware, we are waiting until we are sure things will actually happen. The move to Florida has been purposed for years, this is just the first time they have actually made a drastic move like put their house on the market. I am not sure how I feel about it. Mark has been accepting, but hopeful that, sad to say, their house doesn't sell. 
We will all certainly miss him, but Gavin will be devastated.  
Ben's reaction to the whole thing is very unemotional. He has been, of all the kids, the least likely to wear his heart on his sleeve. He mentions things like no more shoveling, not missing the winter all that much and his intent to quickly adjust to the hot hot days. He also announces that there is much more to do in Florida then NY and concludes with that. I wonder who he is trying to convince.  
He has much less to say about leaving behind his Dad, Bubbe, me, Nick and Lex and at most Gavin. Their once strained brotherly relationship typical of young boys where Gavin was once getting in Ben's way on his nerves, and in his hair has become a real deep friendship almost closer then brothers who live together all year round. 
Selfishly I had hoped Ben would denounce the idea of Florida all together and flat out refuse to leave under any circumstances. He is old enough to make that decision, I think to myself. I know better. He has a family with "them" as well. Realizing that we are both struggling with the discussion I note a fish as it jumps out of the water, and make gestures towards the amazing blue/green color that allures a deep dive in. 
"Well" I say, "guess we will all be making several visits to Florida then.," What else can I say.

We end our trip to Green Lakes as the day hits it hottest temperatures. The boys long to get home and play x-box or one of those electronic game systems in the comfort of air conditioning. Ben's mom is expected at 4 and I have to work at 5.
 I spend the rest of the afternoon floating in the solitude of my pool. 
 I was free of thought, the stress and concern of any future issues washed away by the water. Gavin will have other memories, we will still have Ben in our lives, even if it is only on Holidays and school vacations and right now I have my childhood wish, a backyard swimming hole all of my very own.