Growing up, the ocean was always a part of summer for my family. We buried uncles in the sand, strolled the boardwalk of Jones Beach at dusk, learned to ride waves with my dad, and collected too many shells that never made it home. My kids have grown up much the same way, visiting their Papa every summer, walking through his lawn to the rocky coast of Maine, smelling the roses and the salt, occasionally driving to a calm harbor to swim and find hermit crabs.
But it’s been a few summers now, thanks to the shifting sands of life. I was ever so thankful when we rather spontaneously decided to make the trek to the shore to spend time with family. The weather was perfect, the family time ever so wonderful, and the beaches were perfect. Thank you, God, for the roaring waves and the steady tide and the colors of sun setting over an endless horizon.
And yes, the ocean is not nearby. We all pile into the van and drive for many hours, and traveling with this crew of kids is one of the easiest things I do. Our drive home was eleven solid hours in the van, and guess who was the only antsy one, as far as I could tell? Me. Yup, my four year old’s contentment challenged me to take a deep breath and just settle in for the long haul. And we made it. And it was so good.