“Oh, Mom, this is like paradise!”

by threegirlpileup

So said Maggie as she first entered our condo in Kure Beach this weekend. It was chilly and gray outside, but we had a great view of the crashing waves from our deck.

By any objective standards, it was not a wonderful weekend to be at the beach, weather-wise. Although we managed to miss any rain, the weather was cool (sometimes downright cold!), cloudy, and a bit windy. The only time we saw the sun was when a little peeked through the clouds this morning.

But did this matter to the children? Not in the least. They ran in the waves and scampered up and down the beach. When high tide reduced the sand to only a couple of feet, they played in what was there. They engaged in a lot of serious work that involved digging. They got slammed in the face with water and came up laughing. They pretended to be sea turtles and sandpipers. They ran headlong into the waves, their whole bodies full of delight. They played until they were shivering and then played some more, finally bundling up and going inside.

I am deeply struck by the girls’ ability to be with what IS. I have such a tendency to approach situations with an evaluative eye (how is the weather? will it get better? should we have come this weekend? would another weekend have been better?). I am inspired by their ability to embrace what is in front of them and squeeze out every available ounce of fun. While I might have wished for a little more sunshine or a little less wind, the girls truly could not have had more fun. So of course Steve and I–who without them would have likely spent most of the weekend holed up inside–got to share in that fun. Without them, I would never have found myself sitting in the waves, scooping up coquinas and trying to get them to bury back into the sand–often getting a face full of water for my efforts. Some of my happiest moments are when I am able to join them in that place of frolicking joy.

It was such fun that we’re already planning a return trip. Maggie suggested next weekend, but we may need to wait a little longer than that…

p.s. Sorry, no pictures–the camera made it with me, but the memory card did not.