We have been spending a lot of time on the beach, and it is giving me a new perspective on the whole concept of why the sandy beach is such an amazing place.
First of all, if you are at the beach, there is a good chance that it is hot out. Now, I understand there is a portion of the population who does not actually enjoy the heat... but I am not one of those people. With a poorly functioning thyroid... and the fact that I live in one of the coldest places on earth, I appreciate every drop of sweat that pours from my brow on a hot day. And the best thing about heat on the beach is the cool, delightful water. Jump right in, leap a couple waves and your sweaty discomfort is all but gone.
Additionally, I now go to the beach with pretty much the two cutest kids on earth. That is completely an unbiased opinion of course... These two kids love the beach. They love playing on the sand, running on the sand, digging in the sand, rolling in the sand, being buried in sand... one even likes eating the sand (but we are hoping that might stop).
All that happiness, and they have not even slipped a toe into the water yet.
It is this pure and unadulterated joy that reminds me just how fabulous the beach really is, because it really grounds a parent in the present. You can't help but allow yourself to get caught up in that moment with your kids... and you feel the fiery hot sand on your palms until you dig down to that next level where it is just cool and moist. You start packing and digging and sifting it in your hands... and you watch the grains slip through your fingers and it truly feels amazing.
Cecilia likes to crawl along the beach to that place where the waves just end... she looks at us with a mischevious grin and just takes off at top crawling speed. She knows we are in hot pursuit, but that when she gets to her destination, we will sit and play in the super soaked sand and wait for the waves to roll on shore and pull the sand back to the sea. She will sit in this spot for an hour... and just enjoy the water lapping around her legs and low back. She lets the wet sand pour through her fingers... and just relishes the coolness of the water and the closeness of her family.
It has called to mind all the times that I used to go swimming back in Nova Scotia with my Mum, my Aunt and my Grandmother (all the matriarchs who have since left me to learn to "Mother" on my own). I absolutely adored those days... Mum and Dodo would hold my hands and lift me over the briny waves... and my aunt would float like a buoy over the waves and we would laugh and have an amazing time... even though the water was frigid. Those were amazing memories and I am blessed to have them.
I hope that Calla (and Cecilia) will have these memories too (with significantly warmer water).