Today was monumental. It was my girl’s first day at the beach! Well, technically not her “first” day. Of the three years that we have brought her to visit her grandparents and my side of the family, we have taken her to the beach for two of them. Both times, she was adamant that the water was NOT for her. This time, however, we could barely keep her from running headlong into the ocean. I managed to convince my little mermaid to go slowly, bit by bit. First, feet in the waves, then up to her waist with Grandpa holding her under her arms, and then I got her into her floaty vest and out into the water she went wth me and Grandpa.
All I could do was smile when my girl exclaimed, “This is so much fun!”
After she got out of the water for the second time, my beautiful little mermaid immediately ran over to a bunch of girls who were building sandcastles with spades and pails and sat right down with them and made herself welcome. They were kind girls and shared a pail and spade with her and taught her how to make sandcastles with it. The girls didn’t run her off, didn’t comment on how her mom should teach her to ask first. They just accepted my girl into their midst and taught her something new that she had longed to do for weeks. It did my heart tremendous good to see kindness curated in such a real and gentle way. Thank you, girls! I hope you have a great rest of your vacation.
To see my daughter enjoy such innocent and exuberant fun made my soul soar. It also gave me a chance to sit quietly and observe the beach that I had frequented in my childhood. It feels strange to start thinking in terms of “when I was a kid” or “when I was young” but the truth is that, in this coming month, I will be a full-grown hobbit. Today, people stretched up and down the beach as far as I could see. When I was a child, the occupancy of the beach was a fraction of that, even on a Saturday, so to see such a crowd on a Thursday was startling. There are also vendors everywhere: beach chairs, food, snorkel rentals, raft rides, etc. None of that was ever a part of beach going when I was a kid; if you couldn’t get a spot under one of the cabanas that were there, you set up your towels and such in the deepest shade you could find.The world I knew is the world I knew no longer. Not that that’s a bad thing, as it’s still a world that I can share with my daughter and my family.