A few weeks ago, we got away from it all. We took a beach vacation. This was a first for us. First time to take the kids on a plane. First time to show them the ocean. It was amazing.
It’s a good thing we bought the tickets in January, because after the bathroom remodel, and the bills coming in from the exterior work we’ve been doing, I’m not sure we would have had the guts to buy plane tickets and rent a condo on the beach!
But the tickets were booked and the condo paid for, so away we went.
Once there, we had two items on the agenda:
1) Play on the beach:
2) Eat Seafood
The second day we were there, it was misty, drizzly and cloudy. It ended up being a day that contained some of my favorite memories of the trip. Right away in the morning, before the rain, we headed out of town to the dunes. We had fun collecting shells, climbing the dunes and helping the local turtle rescue pick up trash along the turtle nesting grounds.
That afternoon, when the others were reading or napping, Claire and I went for a walk along the beach. The sky was a beautiful gray, and the waves matched. The air was balmy and Claire’s curls sprang to life. It was lovely. What I will remember most was how excited she was to be with me. It was obvious that the ocean, the shells, the sand, were all second to the fact that she was alone with me. She didn’t just hold my hand, she clung to my arm. She was so happy. Being alone with my middle child on that afternoon, in a place so far away and different from our usual reality was a gift that I will always treasure. It was one of those moments in life that while it is happening, you know you are always going to remember it. And, if I didn’t get it before, I got it then. This is why vacations are worth it. The money, the hassle, the stress of planning… all worth it for moments like these that are set apart.
That night, after a big seafood supper, we took the kids back to the beach and walked all together. Playing in the waves made them so happy. And watching them play together in the ocean made me so, so, so happy. What a thrill to give your kids an experience like this for the first time.
We could have stayed home and gotten more items on our to-do list check off. We could have kept the money safe in our savings account, or tucked it away in college funds. But instead we showed our kids the sea. You can’t put a price tag on that.