Today is our last full day of our beach vacation. It's really different having just one child along instead of the four (or more) that we have had in the past.
Ah, well. Life goes on. Eventually kids grow up and get jobs and get married and get all kinds of responsible that you raised them to get--and then you feel a twinge of sadness that they can't go on vacation with you.
Meanwhile, our baby--our 12 year old--gets our full attention.
We've played Monopoly twice.
We've gone go-karting.
We've been in the crashing waves--and by "we" I mean my husband and son. I have too much fear after a few scary experiences over the years (jellyfish, near drowning, rip currents, and being dragged and scraped on the beach like a beanbag on a cheese grater). Combine fear with a bad shoulder and you get a middle-aged woman standing at the water's edge--no farther in-- hoping she doesn't get hit in the knees by a crashing wave.
But she gets hit anyway, when she turns her head to watch lifeguards send signals with red flags.
My heart is happy to watch people enjoying life. Dads holding their little girls above the surf. Moms waving the older kids to come in because they're out too far. Grandmas with their saggy arms and wide-brimmed canvas hats holding hands with grandpas with pudgy bellies and clip-on sunglasses.
Teens with young, tight, tan skin and smiles that stretch from coast to coast.
I didn't take my phone. I didn't take my camera. I lived in the moment.
We went to the boardwalk and played too many rounds of Skeeball in the arcade. My husband and son handed me stuffed animals as they retrieved their winnings. I felt like a teenage girl clutching the cute pale blue dolphin, big-eyed giraffe, three hot pink fish, and a baby seal.
We had to buy some cashew brittle and gummy Army Men just to get a bag to hold the prizes.