Couple of weeks ago ("The Days Dwindle Down," Sept. 7), I decided it was high time for my grandson, Simon, to make his first trip to the beach, so Myra and I took him off to Golden Gardens in Seattle for a couple of hours of sand and surf. He loved the sand, and his new bucket and shovel. He loved watching kids and grownups play Frisbee and beach their kayaks and canoes. But the surf was another story. The sound and motion of the waves breaking on the shore put him on guard, and he was not about to entrust his body to that strange and unreadable environment.
But then he discovered a little stream running down from the stand of trees behind the beach. That was much less intimidating. Soon Simon was wading, picking up little stones, throwing them into the water, and gleefully shouting, "Splash!"
We can do better than that, I thought, and bent over a rock about eight inches in diameter. "Help me pick this one up," I said. "Then we'll throw it in."
Simon thought that was a great idea. We stood at water's edge, held the rock by opposite sides, and as we swung it back and forth, I counted, "One...two..." On "three!" we launched the missile. It flew up, then came down with a most satisfying noise, splashing water all over the two of us.
"Want to do another big one?" I asked.
We picked up a rock about the size of the first one, carried it to the water, started to swing and count, but this time, on two, Simon let go of his side, and ran several steps back up the beach. "Hey," I shouted. "I can't throw this big rock by myself. You've got to come back and help me."
He was chortling. "No."
"Come on," I said. "Help me make a big splash."
"No. Larry do it."
"I can't. Not by myself. I need you to help me."
Still grinning, head shaking side-to-side. "No."
I dropped the rock onto the sand. A double milestone, fair enough. He learned Fool Me Twice, Shame On Me. And I learned that an almost-two-year-old kid can be more devious than any adult.