Wednesday, August 17, 2011
I’m a beach girl. Always have and always will be. By ‘beach girl’ I don’t mean surfing or swimming in the waves for hours (I actually fear when I can’t see the bottom of the ocean!) I also don’t mean ‘beach girl’ in the way of all the extras that come with some beaches. Don’t sign me up for go-carts, mini golf, and arcades. I know, my poor children. I love the beach for the simpleness of the beach. I love morning walks collecting shells. I love jumping waves. I love family football with the end zone etched in sand. I love to sit in the afternoons as the sun sets immersed in a good book. Some of the memories from childhood that make my heart swell are ones held at the shoreline. It was the one time a year that my family truly got to rest and be together.
As a parent, now juggling the demands of work and family life, I understand why my parents were always so diligent with a beach trip. Sometimes we all need “me time.” For our family a beach trip is “we time” and while it probably can’t be justified as a ‘need,’ it’s pretty close.
Traditions are important for children. They help improve their sense of self, their sense of “this is who I am and where I come from.” We are counting down the days for an annual trip to the shore to reunite with a few dear college friends who have turned into family friends. What stated as girls that found a sisterhood in our college years has grown into husbands who are also good friends and 9 kids all together that look forward to reuniting with their ‘beach gang’ each year. It’s happened every summer since they were infants and they don’t remember anything different. I love this tradition.
We spend a lot of time just ‘being’ on this trip. We barely move cars. We shower in the outdoor shower half the time and go straight from bathing suits to PJ’s., prepared to crack crabs and talk into the early morning hours. It’s rejuvenating and refreshing for us, and for the kids it’s simple fun.
We try to plan a few activities to keep them busy. We’ve made treasure box collages the year remnants of a hurricane were around. We had beach Olympics with the wheel barrel race and other fun games last year. We’ve painted shells at the beach and laughed at my godson as he happily painted his belly orange instead. A personal favorite was the hiding our “gold” (spray painted rocks) and letting them search and dig for treasures (side note: this one buys parents lots of ‘grown up time’ to talk!).
The activities are great fun and part of the tradition the kids look forward to, but my favorite part of watching my children on this trip is that they still have sheer joy in discovering the natural treasures of the beach. “Look Mom! This shell has purple swirls!” They could do this for hours. So could I. Observing their exciting discoveries makes me feel like a kid again and reminds me of the content feeling of those memories from the beach.
I am thankful for the gift of having a simple time to recharge myself as a mother, a friend, a wife, and a person. I am thankful to reconnect with friends I love dearly. And I am thankful to have the opportunity to see our wonderful world through the eyes of some pretty cool little people who remind me through their actions that traditions are important for us all, that if you take time to slow down and look around, there are some amazing things waiting to be noticed, and that ‘we time’ matters to us all. What are your summer traditions? How are you recharging yourself before fall is upon us and quickly rolls into the business of the holidays? Build traditions, look at the world through the eyes of your children today, and carve out a little bit of ‘we time.’
- Milestones and Miracles
Welcome to our blog! As longtime friends, we recently decided to combine our professional experience (as a speech-language pathologist and physical therapist) and "Mommy Experience" to create a company dedicated to something we are both extremely passionate about - letting kids be kids! Milestones and Miracles, LLC was formed in 2010. Our mission is to empower parents in understanding the natural progression of their child's development (and not rush it along and skip stages). We develop and provide developmental products to support this learning process, bonding families through engaging, fun, and meaningful experiences! We are thrilled to share that our first product, 1 2 3 Just Play With Me is available for sale. Visit www.milestonesandmiracles.com to learn more and order a unique product for yourself & your child or as a gift! We will continue use this blog to share about topics that interest and excite us. Stay tuned!
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