Family fun

I finally made it out to the beach.  You might think that I’d go every other weekend or so, given that I love the beach and it’s only about an hour away from home.  But it’s still a big time-committment (and I’m not so good at making those) and then there’s the anxiety about taking my not-quite-2-year-old there.  What if I get out there, only to realize I’ve forgotten something really important?  What if I remember every possible important thing, but then I’ve got so much stuff to carry that I can’t hold Liam’s hand while walking from the car to the beach?  How will I ever set anything up without losing my kid?  This is where Mike comes in.  He took the day off and went with us to the beach, providing that all-important second set of hands (and eyes) to make sure I didn’t lose anything (or Liam).  We had a great time and I learned some new lessons:

Little kids may need encouragement to like the ocean, but there are so many things to do and see on the beach that they’re bound to find something they want to do.  For Liam that was chasing birds.

This bird doesn't know what's coming...

I didn’t need all of the stuff I brought along.  I never planned to stay more than a couple of hours because Liam and I have fair skin and don’t want to fry.  I planned all along to get drinks and a snack at the beach, making the cooler I brought along entirely unnecessary.

I love beach mats.  They’re great.  Except when you are supervising a 2-year-old who has no patience to wait for you to unfold it and then has no patience for you to refold it when it’s time to leave.  Also, there is no laying on the beach with 2-year-olds.  Maybe I should get a beach chair instead…

I should buy myself a pair of flip-flops just to wear to the beach and the pool.  It just takes too much time (not to mention how silly you look) to take off and put on your athletic shoes, complete with socks, on the beach.  Also, there is sand involved.

Beadwork on the bust of your suit is a magnet for little hands.  Maybe I will spring for a new suit next year…

Oh, and did I mention how much FUN we had?  It was well worth the time, small expenses of driving and parking and minor inconveniences of lugging stuff around and applying sunscreen (not in that order, btw).  Maybe we’ll manage to do this again as the weather cools down.

So, Liam chased birds and I chased Liam, all over the beach.  We also went into the water and got splashed by waves.  Liam eventually got comfortable with wading in on his own little legs even though he fell down a few times.  I think he could have spent all day.  Normally, I would echo that sentiment, but with all the running around, I was pretty beat after a couple of hours.  We packed it in, stopped for a bite at the Windjammer and discovered that Liam likes fried okra.  Liam usually doesn’t try new foods, so this was huge.  It was really good fried okra. We really had an awesome time together.  I’m so glad we finally did this.

Daddy and Liam walking together

I talk a good game about scheduling in fun, and scheduling it ahead of chores sometimes so that it doesn’t get neglected.  But I don’t really do that nearly enough.  Here’s hoping I’ve learned that lesson!

How do you make sure to have fun as a family?  What do you like to do?

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