A Day at the Beach

Today, when it is negative degrees outside, I look out the window and wish-no CRAVE for warmth and sunshine.  I let my mind wander back to the last summer and days spent relaxing in the sun.  Rose colored glasses, I assure you.  Yes, we did have days in the sun, but I guarantee you they weren’t relaxing…  Well one day last summer I remember vividly…..

One rare Saturday in particular, I found my self sitting on a beach, enjoying the scenery, watching other people’s kids play, thinking how perfect this beach is and then I thought to myself…I WISH MY KIDS WERE HERE..
Too late to take it back, I had already thought it.  I had two hours alone on a Saturday and I’m already thinking about my kids and how I wish they were with me.  And I looked through those rose colored glasses of mine, and thought how much FUN it would be to bring my lil bears here.

When in reality…..

Two days later, I got up early and began to make a list of all the things needed to get my family to the beach for a day of fun.   And began the HOURS of prep work..

  • Cooler packed with healthy snacks
  • Towels (and extra towels)
  • Swimsuits
  • Sand toys
  • Chairs
  • Sunscreen/ bug spray

My children made their way down the stairs.  I had breakfast waiting for them and a surprise!! We are heading to a new beach for the day!  Baby bear, which is USUALLY my optimistic bear, was very excited and runs upstairs to plan her outfit.  My lil bear however seems to need more nudging..
“I don’t wanna go, mom.  I will just stay home.”
“Stay home rather than go to the beach??  Why baby?  It will be so much fun!! You will see!  You can bring your fishing pole!”
“It is my choice mom!  Besides, I don’t have any bait to fish with!! Will you buy me bait??”
“Go outside and find a worm!!!  Just like I did when I was little.. My parents never paid for bait.. just ludicrous..”
I go back to packing and planning this huge event.  I have cut up all the snacks, bagged everything, packed the car, forgo the shower and put up my hair and put on my suit.
“Are you ready kids? Let’s get in the car!!”
“yay!!” yells baby bear as she comes down the stairs in her bathing suit and high heels.
“I haven’t decided if I am going yet mom!!” yells lil bear.  I find him, still in his jammies, in his bedroom reading.
“please, just come.  Bring your book and at least read on the beach..”
“FINE!!! But I am not bringing my suit!!”
“…or maybe bring it just in case, but you don’t have to wear it!”

He finally decided to grace us with his presence but makes it known that he was not happy about it..  He walked slowly to the car holding his book and suit acting as if we were going to school rather than the beach..  He grabed his fishing pole and begins to try and fit this in the car.  Ugh.. I remember this moment..
It won’t fit in the trunk so he put it in the back seat and hung it out the window.. he slammed the door and went back to reading his book.  I sighed and made a quick sign of the cross and got in the car, DETERMINED to have fun.  It was 90 degrees out and just as humid.
“lil bear, I need to close the windows.  We need to drive with the a/c on and we have an hour drive on the freeway.  Can’t have the windows open..”
“well, it doesn’t fit any other way and I am not going without it!!!”
“does it come apart?”
“NO!!  this is the only way it will go!! I cant take it apart, I don’t know how!  Maybe I should just stay home..”
“nope.. leave it.” I was going to get the kids to the beach and we were going to have fun.  I was sweating profusely at this point.  I started the car.  I blasted the a/c and it mixed with the hot humid air and played a dangerous game with my head and stomach.  I tried to keep from getting sick in the heat.  I would have turned the radio on, but the noise of the window open on the expressway made hearing anything impossible…yet somehow I could still hear the children fighting from the back seat.  I submerged myself into my thoughts and TRIED to tune them out.  We got to the beach in 50 minutes and struggled to find a parking spot.  My sweat spots were sweating it was so hot..  Around and around the parking lot we went with no available spots in sight.. I finally stalked a lady walking to her car,
“Are you leaving??” I asked her, she nodded.  My kids  freaked out that I talked to a stranger.
Omg, what will people think, mom??
I got out of the car and began to unpack the trunk.  Layers upon layers of stuff I put in my arms while screaming for the kids to get out of the car and grab what they need.  I had chairs around my neck and I was dragging a 200lb cooler of snacks, when I saw lil bear PUT THE FISHING POLE BACK IN THE CAR and grab his book and begin to walk to the beach.
“umm, you aren’t gonna grab that??  After all the trouble it caused?”
“nope,” he says..”you didn’t buy me any bait.  What good would it do me?”
I wanted to hurl the fishing pole into the woods.  I was barely keeping down breakfast from the car ride in the heat and he.doesnt.want.it  He also refused to grab his swim suit from the car.  He didn’t want to come to the beach, remember?? You forced him.. against his will. So he is just gonna read..  I dragged everything for 10 minutes down to the beach and set out the towels.  I grabbed a water bottle out of the cooler and looked for the kids.  They were both wading in the water, splashing in the waves, picking up stones and tossing them into the lake laughing and having fun.  Lil bear looks at me and says “I didn’t bring my suit mom!! I want to go in!!  Can I just swim in this??”
I nodded as I collapsed in the sand.  This was what I wanted.  I got my wish.  I was sweaty, wet, hot, cranky and covered in sand.  I had spent the last hour driving thru traffic to get to a packed beach dragging my ungrateful children behind me for this moment right here..  They were laughing and smiling for just a moment.  And it felt good.  It would only last a moment though. And then the next crisis or argument would ensue.  But in this moment,  it was worth it.  I jumped up and ran into the waves with them.  I wanted to enjoy this moment while it lasts!!

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