Friday, July 20, 2012

Taking Back The Beach

For the first time in 10 years, I have a tan. Now, some people- my pigment challenged friends in particular- might argue that I’m always tan. My complexion is naturally olive, but without the sun I end up looking green. I’ve been green ever since I got pregnant with Ashton. With pregnancy after pregnancy, baby after baby, the beach and the pool have been far out of my reach. I can’t ever seem to connive going without the kids, and I was too scared to take them when they were little. Last week, I bit the bullet and took all three kids to the beach, all by myself. By myself!

For Atleigh, especially, this was a big step. She’s only been to the beach once or twice, even though we live less than 3 miles from Buckroe, a little inlet of the Chesapeake Bay. It was just so much hassle... the towels and the sunblock and the sand. So much sand. There’s just so much sand at the beach. In the past few days, I’ve learned that the sand is a small price to pay for the sunshine, the water, the energy they burn up running back and forth, the friends they make for the day. It’s so worth it.

This is probably a small thing. It IS a small thing. But for me, it’s a huge accomplishment. I can’t say how huge. I’m not an adventurous mom. I never have been. We don’t do play groups. We don’t do field trips or museum days. I don’t really do “fun”. But I can do relaxed. I can for sure do that. And the fact that I managed, after 8 long years, to get to the beach- the beach that is in walking distance from my house (but seriously. Don’t walk. It’s not safe)- with all three of my kids, was like taking back a little piece of the Promised Land. I thought, “Hey, this isn’t so hard. I can do this.” I took back a little piece of the freedom I gave up when I stepped onto that hot sand, toting a chair, an umbrella, a bag full of sunblock and Capri Suns, 5 towels, a bucket of toys, and three kids in tow. I did it. My life is not so confined, after all. My horizons are now stretched across the Atlantic. Because I finally took back the beach.

I hope, if you have some part of yourself that you've lost, no matter how insignificant, that you get a chance to reclaim it this summer. Take a step, even if it's laden with baggage like mine was. You can do it. Take it back.

- M

"Bubba said there was a jellyfish behind me!"

My heart.

Yes, I did the unthinkable, and brought my camera into the water. Just this once!

I told him to smile. He shot me instead.

1 comment:

  1. So glad to see Atleigh happy to be in water. I remember the first time we were in FL together and put her feet into the water - boy was THAT a mistake! But, I got to hold the sweetest baby the entire time we were on the beach.
    Glad to see that first adventure didn't scar either one of you.
    Hugs & kisses, Auntie <3