The four of us are on vacation at the beach this week. This is always a special time of year for our family because my husband gets to participate too. Of course, depending on how things are going at work, he may have to be on the phone and miss some of the fun, but we are away, we are together, and it is great family time.
I grew up in the Midwest, so oceans are rather foreign to me. I love being at the ocean but have zero interest in being in the ocean--too many unknown scary things (sharks, jellyfish), too salty, too wavy. I can sit on a beach and watch and listen to the ocean all week long, and I am happy as a clam. I am more of a beach facilitator--I pack and unpack, serve food, act as sherpa, apply and reapply sunscreen, take photos, and lifeguard.
In contrast, my husband grew up spending summers at the Jersey Shore, so the ocean is his thing. He has imparted all his body surfing, boogie boarding, and other ocean fun wisdom to our eight-year-old, who causes me much anxiety by seeming nearly fearless in the water. Must he hover underwater an additional three seconds after each wave has passed, just to make my heart race?
Anyway...we were at yet another beach today, and my boys played in many more gigantic waves. The little one was a bit miffed, because it was far too rough for her to even be in the water. After she'd been reasonably patient most of the afternoon--digging holes, making sand pies, and putting her toes in--I told my husband that perhaps we could stop at one of the calmer bay side beaches on the way home because she wanted to swim too.
He asked her if she wanted to go in. She said "yes." He picked her up and carried her out into the waves. Big waves. Very big waves. Sitting in my lifeguard perch up on the beach, I watched my whole family out in those tremendous waves. My daughter had her arms clutched around her dad's neck as tightly as she could. He had his arms wrapped around her, doing the same. My son swam up and joined them, all of them alternately riding or ducking under the waves together.
As I watched the three of them holding on to one another, all I could think of was "mine." I marvelled at my family, at how my husband and I have made this together, and I was happy. Mine. Mine. Mine.