Sunday, June 26, 2011

The Heart of the Ocean

"My soul is full of longing
For the secret of the sea,
And the heart of the great ocean
Sends a thrilling pulse through me."
- Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

I am my mother's daughter. I dig my toes in the sand and stubbornly refuse to leave my post in the beach chair by the ocean. If the sun never set behind us, we would have no reason to climb the splintered stairs up to the beach house.

I just got back from three full days at the beach with my parents, aunts, uncles, and cousins. Many of them stayed a full week, which I admit to being unashamedly jealous. I am thankful for these past few days of togetherness. The beach makes my heart sigh, and I feel as if I have almost exhaled a big puff of air that I didn't even know I was keeping inside.

Jonah went up a few days earlier with Sha-Sha and Pops...

...and he refused to sit in the sand. Instead, he happily played in a beach chair, transporting sand from bucket to ground and back again.

Once Patrick and I arrived, we were determined to break him in. We carried him to the sandiest spot near the waves despite his crocodile tears and cherry-red tomato face.

With great gusto and dramatic flair, we made elaborate sandcastles and dug a moat fit for a fairy-tale scene. I believe it was the moat that won him over, as he began laughing hysterically with mouth wide-open and eyes crinkled from joy.

Each day after that initial traumatic, parent-forced experience was full of sandy goldfish and wave chasing. My little Jonah has fallen in love with the heart of the ocean, just like his mom.

I used to think it was fun to slather coconut oil over any exposed skin and lay motionless under the raw sun. Now, I wear SPF 5 million and have sand, not coconut oil, in every nook and cranny of my post-child self...and I love it.

Here's to chipped fingernail polish from sandcastle sculpting, sagging bathing suit tops from clenched baby fists, and raccoon eyes from oversized mom sunglasses!

Do you have favorite memories of the beach???

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