Thoughts for Thursday: Take the Trip

Thursday, August 3, 2017

 I've become that person, wearing clothes on the beach. "But it's so practical, I'll be chasing after the kids!" In my defense, I was right.

 Essie's "Mint Candy Apple" is one of my go-to summer polishes. My other favorite: Essie's "Watermelon." 

Every season I create a "bucket list" full of things to do with the girls during that particular season. Summer's list includes things like make s'mores (check), play at the splash pad (check), and let Carrie stay up late to catch lightning bugs (still need to check that one off!). Also on the list was "take a day trip to the beach." We had our week long beach trip in late spring and C loved making sand castles, collecting shells, splashing in the water -- I just knew we had to get her back before the end of the summer. Luckily for us, we don't live too far away.

But distance and convenience are two very different things when you're considering a trip (even a day trip) with two very young children. It's so easy to say but it's so much work to pack everyone up, they won't do well on the drive, everyone will be sticky and hot and tired, they won't even remember this... so why bother? That sounds terrible, but if you're a parent of little ones, you know you've thought it! I get it. There are many times I've thought the very same things, and even times I've let those thoughts make up my mind.

But not this time. 

This time, we spontaneously threw caution to the wind on a sunny Saturday and, mid-afternoon, packed up our 3.5 and 1 year old plus 1000 beach toys, 1 cumbersome beach umbrella, 40 snacks, and a couple of changes of clothes and hit the road for the hour-ish drive to the shore. And you know what? It was so much fun. Don't get me wrong: It's not like the whole thing went off without a hitch. Hadley did nothing but eat handfuls of sand the entire time we were on the beach, I forgot her pajamas to change into, and both of the girls were literally covered head-to-toe in sand with it stuck in places I didn't know existed. At one point Steve was dousing them both with baby powder while they stood in the trunk of our car (baby.powder.everywhere.) and said jokingly (ok, maybe half jokingly) "This is the stuff nightmares are made of!" But it occurred to me that we could substitute the word "memories" for nightmares and look at it entirely differently. ;) 

And it's so true.

Memories aren't usually made from the times when things go perfectly smoothly. Most of my fondest childhood memories are of the times things didn't go according to plan: getting stuck in a downpour, piling way too many family members into a car for a trip to the diner, getting lost on a road trip, huddling in our sleeping bags downstairs during a bad thunderstorm. And in fact, I'm smiling now just thinking of our humid summer Saturday "down the shore:" Hadley's first ice cream cone, walking along the boardwalk while hungry seagulls swooped in and out, riding the carousel with blinking carnival lights swirling around us in a haze but our girls' joyful little faces perfectly in focus.

So if you're on the fence, take the trip. Even if the kids don't remember it, you will. :)


  1. the clown car :) by far, my favorite family memory ever.

  2. Love this Jen! I always think it's worth the spontaneous memories!!! This reminds me of a day when just everything went wrong taking Bobby to the art museum, road closures for something or other, parking so far away in the freezing cold and I hadn't brought a coat for myself. But we already reminisce about walking over this cool paintd bridge over the railroad tracks and our adventure. Even if Bobby now always asks "are we going to be able to park at the museum this time?"

    1. I love that, Andrea!! I bet Bobby will still recall that adventure fondly even into adulthood. :)


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