"We are tied to the ocean. And when we go back to the sea, whether it is to sail or to watch - we are going back from whence we came." John F. Kennedy
"The ocean stirs the heart, inspires the imagination and brings eternal joy to the soul." Robert Wyland
"Our memories of the ocean will linger on, long after our footprints in the sand are gone." Unknown Author
I grew up going to the beach. I love everything about it. The sights, the sounds, the smells, you name it. And now I can proudly say that my daughter loves it, too. I can also say that I am not at all surprised.
We spent seven glorious days with our feet in the sand, our bodies slathered in suntan lotion, the sea breeze in our hair. We spent seven glorious nights riding rides, eating popcorn, devouring ice cream and taking in all the sights and sounds of the boardwalk. We learned to dodge the tram car and we quickly figured out what stores had the best deals. When our friends and family came down to stay, we tried to make sure their experience was as positive as ours. And it was.
Today is Father's Day. My dad loved the beach. He had a place right on the water for years and he loved to entertain there. I can't help but think how happy he would have been to see my daughter and me building sand castles while our laughter got lost in the sound of the tide. It is sad to me that he is not here to experience such things and yet I know that even when he was here, he did not have the capacity to enjoy much outside of himself. I like to think his granddaughters would have changed that, but I think it's mostly wishful thinking.
I picked a man to be my husband that is pretty different from my dad. He puts the needs of his family first and his children never question his love for them. Although we do not get to raise Allie, we speak of her and talk about her and share our love for her the best way we can. As for Miranda, I am not sure a kid was ever as loved by her daddy as she is by hers!
I am so lucky that I got to spend that week down the shore. I told my dear friend and my sister-in-law when they came down one day that I am so worried that I take it all for granted. They both assured me that I do not. I appreciate every single moment that I get that brings a smile to my soul.
Bringing a sassy three-year old to the beach for a week is no small task. I am more exhausted now than I was before I left. But I do not care and I would do it again. And I will.
I love the way my daughter smiles when she experiences something new. I love the way she lights up when we embark on new adventures. I love the way she is a mirror of me. I never in a million years thought that I could ever be so lucky.
To the beach...to the secrets it holds, the joy it brings and the laughter and happiness it brought us all this past week.