Present, Perspective and Dinky Beaches

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My mother is visiting -she arrived just in time for Mother’s Day (so perfect.)  My big kids, during our winter visit to her little house in the woods deep in Central Washington, told her that when she came to visit next we’d take her to the beach.  Galveston is the best we’ve got in Texas  (I’m sure that statement is debatable, but it’s the closest beach to us at 4 hours drive time.)  And it’s the best surf for our kiddos.  You go out the length of a football field and it’s no deeper than it was 20 feet from shore.

The drive is always…interesting.

Kids crammed in with coolers, beach buckets and plastic trowels, beach towels and water bottles.

Ceaseless entertainment… (Waverley taking photos of her eyeballs.)

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And finally…

we arrive.

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I admit, the whole morning and drive down I was in a cloud.  Despite all my positive self-talk, I was feeling suffocated by fear of the unknown in the near future. It was all financial worry, and it was coloring everything -my interaction with my family, my view of life, my view of myself.  Thankfully I brought a notebook along to journal in and began jotting down ideas and solutions.  By the time we rolled on to the beach, I was beginning to see hope glistening on the horizon.

When I caught the golden glint of the minerals creating fine lines in the wet sand, seeing the beautiful patterns the surf made, I was pulled into the present as if by two strong hands.  Brought back into the magic of the moment.  Reminded to appreciate THIS, here and now.

And so I began to smile and play…

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My two bigs were far out in the surf and my fixed lens only able to grab them as dots in the water, but they had SO much fun riding the waves!

And I have never seen any of my children enjoy the beach at his age as Tennyson did.  He was giddy even when waves knocked him down.  He would rush into the water.  Dig in the sand.  Walk to the dune/bank at the top of the beach and pad around, inspecting the thick, wispy grasses.  Chase the birds.  This was definitely a happy place for him.

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The Gulf Coast beaches remind me of perspective.  Yeah, it ain’t pretty compared to the Mediterranean or Cabo San Lucas or Fiji, for that matter.  The water is dirty brown, the waves are tiny, there’s not a lot exciting about it.  But, compared to no beach or a cold beach or a rocky beach you can’t swim in and sunbathe on, daaaang, it’s awesome.

I read a quote recently and I forget who said it, but the gist of it was if you keep looking at what you don’t have you’ll be unhappy.  If you keep looking at what you do you, you’ll be happy.  Count your blessings, be filled with gratitude, and other nice quips perfect for painted wood plaques to hang in your kitchen.  But it’s true, right?  RIGHT.

Gratitude is a bridge to happiness.  I needed to be reminded of this.  I’m so very good at giving other people advice and not so hot at following my own with consistency.  Like the doctor who still smokes.

This murky, dinky beach is a gem to our family.  It’s a place of memory building, joy and adventure.  And I’m grateful for it.

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Aaaaand, we learned that 8 hours driving and 4 hours of beach time isn’t how we’ll roll in the future.  We need a hotel stay.

Things ya learn.

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Confession:  So, now that I’m 14 weeks pregnant (with my 4th child -makes a difference on how quickly you round out) I have a -shall we say, “paunch”?  It’s the perfect mixture of “bloat/overweight” and “possibly pregnant” that drives a woman (like me) nuts.  I wore a two piece and even though IT DOESN’T MATTER WHAT ANYONE ELSE THINKS I found myself rubbing my belly in an “I’m pregnant and, see?  I’m rubbing my belly the way ONLY a PREGNANT woman would” as I walked around people, chasing after Tennyson and splashing with the kids.  Crazy body image issues.

Do/have you do/done that?  It’s almost a reflex…

 

 

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