For no good reason that I can think of, I’ve never been a beach person. There is no beach trauma in my childhood. I’m not afraid of water. I like catching rays. There is no explanation for my ambivalence, and I end up sounding snooty when I try to be honest and say, “There just isn’t that much to do.”
I realize this is a problem.
The other night, we were talking with a couple friend and the husband agreed with me, but he couldn’t really explain it either.
“It’s nice for a while-”
“-and then you have to go find something to do.” I finished his sentence for him and our spouses looked as us with pity as we nodded at one another.
I do know how to relax. I’m just particular about where I do it.
But for the next couple of days, we’re at the beach. Alison has never been to the beach (she’s been to Galveston but she isn’t sure that counts) and she’s giddy and goofy with excitement. We ate dinner at a beachfront restaurant last night, and she was very patient until the meal was over. Then, finally, for the first time in her life, she was able to run on the beach with the sand between her toes and the waves breaking a few feet from her while she dashed in and out of the water. She’s been begging to visit the beach since she was six (she’s 11 now, poor kid) and I’m certain this is the fantasy picture she’s conjured up in her head. Last night, she was living the fantasy. And I was trying to plan how I was going to spend my time today when we were at the beach. I began to think about taking a journal and a pen, a paperback book (had to go buy one since I only packed my IPad), my phone for emailing. All of that would probably only last me about an hour. And then it hit me: what about playing in the ocean?
How exactly, does one go about playing in the ocean? The first that comes to mind is that the water is really cold. I’m not into that. Also, those waves can be brutal. While we were eating our seafood dinner last night, I watched two men working their surfboards and they were having a rough time of it. I wasn’t eager to enter those waters.
Again, I realize this is a problem.
For those of you who are really into the beach, there’s no judging here. In fact, I’m a little envious. So how did it end up today? I took my purchased book, my phone, journal and pen and found an empty chaise lounge. The waves crashed noisily and then quieted to a whisper over and over again. It was beautiful. I never cracked the book and left the journal and pen in the bag. I did flip around on my phone for a while, but mostly, I watched this:
I discovered the secret to the beach – at least for me: a husband who loves it. This may be a wimpy way out of it, but it worked well for the three of us. Kyle taught Alison how to dive into the breaking waves, and I found something wonderful to do on the beach all afternoon. Am I beach person yet? Probably not, but I’m leaving the book, the journal, and pen back in the hotel tomorrow. I’ll take the phone though. You never know when I great photo opportunity might come along.