My Convertible Life

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Beach 5: Simple Gifts

Re-entry is a bitch.

After washingdryingputtingaway five loads of laundry, unloading the dishwasher, unpacking most of four suitcases and countless bags, clearing the answering machine and sifting through a week's worth of junk mail, we're all back to work and school again. But having just spent a blissful six-and-a-half days at the beach, I guess I really shouldn't complain.

In order to pretend that I'm still at the beach, each of this week's posts will include a "Beach 5" list. I figure I didn't post at all last week, so hopefully you can tolerate three posts this week. So here goes...

Being able to enjoy that annual week at the beach with my little family of four is a gift -- possibly one of the greatest gifts of the year. And as if that weren't enough on its own, I count the following among the additional gifts I received last week:

1. Beautiful weather: Hurricane Irene threatened to ruin everything, but ultimately made landfall north and east of our beach. As it turned out, we had perfectly sunny skies for seven straight days and no significant damage left behind. Not sure if we were blessed or lucky or both, but I'll take it.

2. Family photos: This year I took 734 pictures over the course of our beach week (although some of those were Pippi running off with the camera). That's not counting all the photos of us taken by friends or the pictures my husband took on his phone. It sounds excessive, but I love having the time to capture my children (and my husband) in their element. And this year a talented new friend with a fancy camera took some extra photos of us that are just beautiful.

3. Date night: Another friend at the beach voluntarily came over to our house after the kids went to bed so that my husband and I could have a date night. As in, just the two of us on our own all by ourselves at our favorite beach restaurant after dark. As in, hasn't happened in more than six years. What a treat!

4. Play time: Our kids are never happier than when they're at the beach. They get to be free all day, eat fruit snacks and chips non-stop, drink juice boxes until they pee in the ocean, get sandy dirty, run wild with their friends -- and no one tells them to "be quiet sit still don't touch that wipe your face" for most of an entire week. Plus we're the beneficiaries of great friends who have a combined eight children for them to run around with -- and parents who do cool things like fishing, egg tosses, corn hole, beach yoga and sea life pools. It's kid heaven.

5. Time with friends: In you case you hadn't noticed the theme, a big part of what makes our beach week so special is the families who have joined us for six years now. We met by accident, but have remained friends by very conscious choice (and careful planning) -- their friendship is truly a gift. In addition to the fact that they and their children help entertain our children (which is blessing enough), they are kind, funny, intelligent, curious, interesting people who will talk and read and laugh and make mai tais and just plain sit on the beach until dark.

Thank you for these simple, wonderful gifts. Only 354 days until we'll be together again in the sand.

Beach 5 posts:
Tips for Parents
Things I Should Have Packed

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