sun, sand + water12:28 PM
I've been going to New Smyrna Beach with my parents since we moved to the states every single year. And every single year around January it will become one of the main things I think about/daydream about. The promise of that warm Florida sun and the sound of waves crashing against the beach are what keep me going during those often rough winter and spring months. This year I was desperate for this vacation. At first it couldn't come soon enough and then it was mere days away and we were scrambling to pack and get the house ready.
I'm not going to wax poetic about the beauty of the ocean or what a luxury a pool is for someone 22 weeks pregnant. But I do want to be honest and say that it wasn't all gravy with a toddler. First of all we hit the classic 18 month monster of a sleep regression with Birdie about two weeks before we left and it's as bad as they tell you. It was like those first two weeks at home all over again. We finally figured out a way to co-sleep that seemed to help but then lo and behold she started cutting her canines and all hell broke loose again. At that point we threw out all the "we should do this or we should do that" ideas that we had about parenting and did whatever kept her happy and us sane. Often that meant multiple refills of her bottle at night, lots of Disney movies, an occasional dose of baby advil and lots and lots of mac and cheese. Basically there was no rest for the weary.
But! That doesn't mean we didn't get to relax. We had the helping hands of my parents and a few date nights courtesy of them and hey! It's the beach!! Not to mention watching Birdie take in and enjoy the sand, ocean and pools pretty much made up for all the sleepless nights and crying. She was so apprehensive the first day, she hated the sand and would only observe everything from her little perch on a clean beach towel. But by the second day we were blessed with little nature made wading pools all over the beach and that's when she and the beach really hit it off! She spent hours in that warm water just playing and point at every single plane that flew overhead (we're really into planes right now). Those moments when she was content and happy? Man they were pure gold.
While in Florida one of my friends shared this hilarious post on facebook that couldn't have been more true. Here's a choice paragraph:
"People with kids set up beach chairs but never sit in them for all that long. They are either building a sand castle, getting their kids a snack, chasing a kid, calming a crying kid, applying sunscreen to a kid, preventing a kid from going out to sea or looking around and wondering how long everyone will stay happy. They absolutely never get to sit back and close their eyes. No sir. People with kids are like Prison Wardens…always watching."
Sooooo funny and soooo true. But isn't that parenting in a nutshell? You're always tired but darn it it's so worth it. That toothy smile, those gurgley giggles, the sound of those little feet running around the house, the way they smell, the way they need you. It is so good.