Do you know how long it takes to get four little people dressed in swim suits and slathered with sunscreen?
Did I mentioned those four little people are squirming and running around and have no concept of the words, "stand still"?
Did I mention that in no way any of this is a bad thing?
Because I love every single bit of it. I love the way my hands get covered in sunscreen and how bathing suits are hung over deck rails to sun dry at the end of the day.
I love the hour of preparation it takes to finally get out onto the sand and I love the pile of discarded flip flops and beach towels as little feet go running for the water's edge.
I love that Harrison is figuring out his own oceanfront vacation groove. He loved playing in the surf for a few minutes but we was perfectly happy to sip on a Dr. Pepper in a beach chair watching the tide come in.
I loved watching Jefferson literally dance to the sea. His little feet would pound a rhythm only he and the water knew and he would wave his arms over the waves like a maestro orchestrating a symphony.
I loved watching Wilson vie for the world record of sand packed into one's swim trunks. He would start at the top of a dune and roll all the way down, across the beach, and crash into the surf. I loved watching him dare the waves to knock him down and challenge the undertow to duels.
I loved watching Jeff and Wils torment seagulls by chasing them mercilessly down the beach never giving them a moment's rest.
I loved watching Harrison catch crabs, build them a habitat, name them, and let them go at the end of the day after trying to convince us to let him keep them.
I loved that LilyMae would fall asleep to the lull of the surf and her brothers shrieking. I love that next year she'll be joining them.
I love that the whole messy process of chasing kids with a bottle of suncsreen, grabbing towels, baggies of goldfish, and beach blankets, and running across hot sand to score the perfect oceanfront set up is something we all love together.
Being at the beach means making some of the best salty, sand covered memories together. It means being in our happy place and it means seagulls quickly learn to avoid our spot of beach ;)