Can I let you in on a little secret? I'm not really a beach girl. Don't get me wrong - I love water and sunshine and beautiful vistas, but the beach itself is, well, messy. Thoughts of relaxing on the sand as you watch the waves roll in always seems romantic, but the reality is never quite so ideal. The sun is either blazing hot, or you realize you should have brought a jacket when strong winds set your teeth chattering. And whether or not the wind is blowing, sand travels surreptitiously, finding its way into your shoes, your clothes, your bag, and your teeth.
But this week finds me in Florida, just steps away from the beach, which holds only fascination for a babe who has yet to fall victim to the burden of logic. Our first day out, I sat back from the water safe and dry, enjoying the warm sun as I watched her explore this new world with her father, cousins, and grandparents. She jumped and giggled each time a wave washed over her feet - both surprised and delighted.
As I wrapped the shivering - but gleeful - girl in a towel, she pleaded for "one more time" over and over again. While I captured the moment in photos, helping lay the groundwork for fond memories as she grows, I reflected on how much I loved water as a child. I sought every opportunity to spend time in oceans, pools, rivers, and lakes without reservation - undeterred by cold water, sand, even mud. Many of my favorite recollections center around splashing, swimming, and laughing with family and friends.
Inspired by a desire to create similarly warm memories for and with my daughter, on our next day out, I set aside my aversion to mess and strode into the COLD water. We hopped in the waves, collected and washed seashells, and dined in the sun - sand, seagulls, and all. The experience and memories were more than worth the mess, and we loved every minute of it.
Are you allowing an inconvenience to stand between you and the memories you could be creating? What delights might you find by getting a little sand in your shoes?