We almost didn’t go to the beach today. Even though we decided that for the summer Thursdays would be beach days, even though we usually meet friends and make a day of it, we almost didn’t make it. Our friends didn’t come, for one reason or another, and I was ready to cancel because the Baby didn’t go back to sleep until 5am, and she had woken up just as I was going to bed. I just wanted to stay in bed. The Boy also didn’t want to go. For whatever reason he began announcing that he just wanted to stay home. We almost didn’t go.
We almost didn’t spend a lazy afternoon near the waves in the perfect weather, hot sun, cool breeze, and just a touch chilly if we sat too long in the shade. The girl almost missed out on sitting in a sand throne, made just for her near her princess castle, by her aunt, uncle, and brother. She almost didn’t recline regally watching the waves and surveying her faithful and devoted subjects.
The Boy almost didn’t learn how to skim board. How to time your run to coincide with the wave’s highest point on the shore line and then throw the board down and jump on it as it skims across the surface of the shallow water before it recedes. He almost didn’t spend an hour getting better at it so that he was riding it at the end.
I almost didn’t take a walk along the beach with the Baby, gazing at the waves, and birds and jelly fish. I almost didn’t put her little feet in the sand and listen to her shriek and the waves lapped over her feet. I almost missed seeing my son look back at me after a ride as if to say, “Did you see me? Did you see me riding this board like a big boy? Are you proud?” I almost missed him coming toward me dripping wet and covered with sand, grinning from ear to ear in his pleasure. I almost missed the site of my girl curled up on a beach mat happy and tired.
We almost sat at home in an untidy stupor, griping at each other over how tired and cranky we felt. We almost missed out on a wonderful memory of a languid summer afternoon at the beach. I almost swapped crankiness for smiles, pestering for closeness, and irritation for fond interaction with my children.
I’m glad I didn’t.