I know, I know: it’s been a gazillion days since I’ve posted, and in that time, Lauren got a job, her kids got sick and better and sick again, the Olympics began, and what have I been doing?
Dear reader, I have been at the beach.
Every day for the past 9 days, I have packed up towels and snacks and bottles of fruity water, slathered my girls with sunscreen, attached the life jackets and the folding chair to the stroller, and walked to the beach.We swim, splash, pretend to be guppies, paddle board, build sand castles. My parents rent a cottage on the lakeshore for 2 weeks, and my siblings and I pile in, stack the kids 5 to a bedroom, take turns packing coolers of sandwiches and grilling burgers and watching babies and teaching kids to boogie board. This year we’re all learning to stand up paddle board. The kids stay up late playing epic games of Monopoly, the babies nap in strollers, there are trolley rides and bottomless ice cream cones.
We don’t travel lightly: we send someone to the beach early to stake out a spot and set up the shade awning, then we sleep late, eat pancakes and cottage eggs, and eventually make our way to the beach with armloads of sand toys, towels, beach chairs, coolers. Sometimes we bring an inflatable kiddie pool for the babies. If the waves are big there are boogie boards; on green flag days there are skim boards.
The water this year has been particularly warm; the kids don’t come out of the water shivering, and the adults have been falling off the paddleboard without complaint all week. The warmth is lovely, if unnerving. Most of my beach memories involve the shock of cold water first on my toes, then creeping slowly up my body. Not so this year. You can run in full speed, like a Baywatch lifeguard, and immerse yourself.
I have essays to grade, and laundry to fold, and books to order, and projects to finish, and a blog to write. But I’ve got 3 more days of sand and water first. Don’t wake me– I plan on sleeping in.