I decided on an impromptu trip to the beach last week.
And when I say impromptu, I don’t mean we were home and I haphazardly packed a bag of essentials and headed out…I mean, while we were already out and about running errands and doctor’s appointments and school orientations and nowhere near prepared for any kind of beach trip.
Little girls in knit tights and skirts. Boys in tennis shoes and socks. Not a single towel among us.
The air a chilly 53 degrees.
I hemmed and hawed in my head. My never ending list of to dos rattling away. In big, red mental letters.
With the crazy go-go-go day we had, unmade beds and sinks full of dishes waited. Calling my name. We had rushed out early. No time for the chores.
But then I remembered…all those times I was deeply saddened as I sat at the desk in my office…wishing I could be home with a bitty Henry. Wishing I could lay out blankets on the living room floor for rainy day picnics. Wishing I could take advantage of the year round California sun. But sitting in heels and a suit instead.
Today I stand at a sink more often than not. Only this time, I’m the boss. I don’t have to stay.
So I took a sharp right, and headed west.
To the ocean and the salty air and the winding road that leads us there.
Besides, Daddy would be home late.
Dinosaur chicken nuggets would not only be acceptable dinner fare, but applauded.
As I watched these two…playing together. Encouraging one another. Laughing…
I couldn’t believe that I almost missed it.
In exchange for folding shirts and straightening sheets.
Moss covered steps are worth it.
This particular beach reminds me so much of the small island that is home to a large part of my family.
And I miss my grandma.
Because I wish it wasn’t so dang expensive to visit and because I’m ashamed that I almost chose vacuuming over beauty.
How backwards my priorities.
Little girls holding up twirly skirts against the frigid water should always win.
Pretty feathers nestled in the pebbly sand are made to be noticed.
Brothers and sisters crossing expanses that feel much wider and scarier than they really are, are worth the mess.
Little girls in pigtails enjoying the view. Perfectly content to watch. Because the pebbly sand is much too yucky.
A girl after my own heart.
Babies bundled up against the chilly day. Silly faces. Wooden spoons.
This. Always this.
Pretty purple sea urchins. So sad you are dead. But so happy you now live on Henry’s bookshelf.
This is childhood. This is what is important.
Four borrowed wooden spoons and two plastic cups make the ocean the perfect playground. No need for brightly colored sand toys. Or fancy beach bags. Or even towels.
Simplicity is king.
And God…well, He has created a world so breathtakingly beautiful…He begs us to notice it.
Too often I do not. Too often I focus on the world *I* try to create within our perfectly appointed and Restoration Hardware painted walls.
Today I fold the clothes I ignored.
Tomorrow we play again.
A balance that so often needs re-calibrated.
It will happen again. I will choose sweeping over playing.
But hopefully not for too long.