While I was on vacation and on an obvious attempt to break the World Record for sitting still and reading the most days/hours/minutes in a row, I did periodically take a break for a few minutes of people watching. Those few moments were when I was struck by the profound observations in my last post.
I mentioned how much more fun it is to take teenagers to the beach last time too, but I didn’t launch into any specific detail, so please allow me to elaborate a little (and do not fear, all proper permissions have been obtained and the names have been carefully and cleverly disguised to protect the innocent and unsuspecting members of my family).
On my very first outing to the beach with a child, my oldest, Liv Loo, was somewhere between 18 months and three years old (I NEVER thought I would be one of those Moms who couldn’t remember when stuff happened with her kids, but alas, age plays tricks on us and I was never one for scrapbooking to preserve these memories) and I was thrilled to take her to one of my favorite places on earth – Myrtle Beach, SC. I have a few memories of going to the beach as a child, but I don’t remember going very often, so my memories of the beach are almost mythical. In fact, some of my memories may actually be “mythical” since my memory ain’t what it used to be.
Anyway, we arrived late in the afternoon and I got her out of the van or car (another gap in my memory) and took her straight down to the beach. I do remember that I was holding her in my arms and I carried her down to the beach. She was very fast as a child and I was always scared to death I would blink and she’d be gone, so I was holding her tight. I stood there at the edge of the ocean watching the waves kiss the sand and thinking what a magical moment to share with my daughter, to introduce her to the beauty of the beach.
Then she started to squirm in my arms, the universal sign for, “Put me down now!” I was happy to oblige thinking she couldn’t wait to touch the water. As soon as her little sandaled feet touched the sand, she threw her chubby little hands over ears and ran screaming up the beach towards the hotel. We spent most of that trip at the pool or shopping. I sniffed back my tears of disappointment.
Fast forward a few years when daughter number two came along, Madelou. Brave soul that I am, I had high hopes that she would love the beach as much as I do. So we packed all our stuff up for a comfortable morning on the beach (chairs, blankets, towels, sunscreen, cooler with ice and drinks, snacks, toys, diapers, etc.). It took four adults 30 minutes to get two toddlers and all that stuff from our beach front hotel to the ocean. We got down there, unpacked all of our stuff, opened a cold coke and sat down to enjoy the day.
Five minutes later Madelou fell down in the sand, got up and came running towards me screaming with her sand-covered hands in the air as if to say, “Get it off, get it off NOW!”. The way she was hollerin’ you would have thought she had stuck her hands in acid. We gave her some time to calm down and get over it. So 30 seconds later we started packing up and moving towards the pool…again.
I can’t remember how our third daughter, Sophalopes (she said it was ok to use her nick name because no one she knows reads blogs), reacted to her first trip to the beach, but by then my dreams of spending days on the beach with my girls had gone totally dormant. No point in forcing the issue, we were pool bound for many years.
Until this year! My dream was resurrected. I got long periods of uninterrupted time with my girls ON THE BEACH and it was awesome.
Sometimes individual moments of life don’t feel very abundant. Often a lot of time has to pass before you can see the trajectory of the story, get a sense of the progression and realize you feel like putting on the tiara because in fact you are reigning in life and didn’t even know it.
Thanks girls, your Momma had a blast!