We went to the beach this weekend, as we do often in these summer days. Wake up, determine the day calls for the beach, and go–that’s bliss.
That being said, the beach is a different beast with a toddler than it was pre-kid. (Hi, understatement).
Before the kiddo, the beach was a restful place for me. It was a promise of a full day of reading, swimming, floating, eating, splashing and resting. It was sitting in the chair with eyes closed listening to the waves crash. It was swimming with my husband. It was a time to recharge and relax.
NOW though, the beach is anything BUT relaxing.
I don’t get to sit and read a book. I don’t get to swim leisurely. I don’t get to veg.
Instead, I get to dig in the sand. I get to run after a toddler intent on running STRAIGHT into the biggest waves he can see. I get to take a few minutes to swim while my husband chases the toddler before we switch out. I get to carry 35 pounds of joyous toddler as far out into the water as he can stand (usually when the waves are splashing us both in the face). Me, the food, the towels, the blanket & everything we brought gets to be covered in sand (oh god the sand the sand there’s just so much SAND everywhere). We get to play hard for 2.5 to 3 hours and then leave, usually with a little man drifting off in the backseat before we’ve even driven half a mile.
I know it will continue to change as he grows older. Even now, he is different at the beach than he was 6 months ago & like a totally different person compared to a year, or two years ago. The changes will have their pros and cons: when he can swim on his own, when he wants to learn to surf, when he’s ready to play more with friends than with us, these things will all have positives and negatives.
For now, it is fun and exhausting work mixed with play. Like all of parenting, just with more water and sand.
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