I have always loved the beach. (In case you can't tell.) Growing up in the Midwest, I waited anxiously for Spring Break, when we would visit Florida.
Ten years ago, I moved here to be closer to the ocean. In my single years, I lived within walking distance of it. I would get home from work, change clothes, take my dog and go for a beach walk.
I went several times a week. Then I got married and moved inland to hubby's house. Have rarely seen the beach since. I miss it. Badly.
But going to the beach with a child is not the same. We try to go several times a year. But honestly, the pool is just so.much.easier.
Back in the day, all I needed was a chair, towel and a good book. Today? It takes a carload of crap. I had blocked this out, I think, when I agreed to meet my friend and her daughter at the beach last Friday.
I got to haul the crap to the beach from the parking lot by myself. Then I had to wrestle with my three year old to get her lathered with sunscreen. After which I had the privilege of unloading all the crap and setting it up.
Bless my dear friend for having a cart and a beach umbrella.
I actually was able to sit in a chair for a bit and talk with her. We watched as the girls played in the sand nearby. It was semi-relaxing. There was a pod of dolphins just offshore. The sun was shining. The wind was blowing. Life was good. This was my view...
Then SB wanted to go in the ocean.
I grabbed the opportunity, actually. For the past year and a half, she has wanted nothing to do with it, declaring it, "yucky water." So I was excited she wanted to go for a swim.
The water was awesome. Cool and (mostly) calm. We got out past where the waves were cresting and she had a ball.
The first time in, I made note of the fact that the sand dropped considerably after the first few feet, as I nearly fell face first into the water. Later, after our second dip, as I was carrying SB out of the water, a wave crested and pushed me over. I didn't want to fall on top of her, so I made sure I fell backwards while pushing her forward.
It was not graceful. And then I was stuck, with waves crashing around me again and again, the water pulling me in every direction. I had managed to push SB on to the sand, past the waves. But I was on my a** and could not get free of the ocean.
Speaking of my a**, once I did manage to crawl back on to the beach, my friend informed me that I had blood streaming down the back of my leg. Turns out I scraped my a** on broken shells. Awesome.
The third time we went in the water, I remembered the drop and was careful not to fall on my a** as we came out of the water. But, just before we made it to the beach, SB screamed. In pain. Not sure what was going on, I got her out of the water as fast as I could, ran to the beach umbrella and placed her in a chair.
Jellyfish sting. On her thigh. A lifeguard administered first aid. We packed up all our crap and headed home. Fortunately, her sting was minor. She recovered well. And while I feared that might keep her out of the ocean for quite some time, she is already talking about going back.
I, however, am going to need some more time to recover first.