When I reference “The Beach” it means one place.
Litchfield Beach, South Carolina.
Just south of Myrtle Beach, Litchfield is quiet, quaint and peaceful.
Palmetto trees, pastel oceanfront houses and southern-accented folks are only a few of the things I love about this place.
Andy has been coming to this area of Litchfield since he was only six weeks old and we carried on that tradition by making sure Grace had her first trip to “The Beach” at seven weeks.
Avery made it for the first time at 18 weeks and we plan to keep coming back.
So many of the beachy novels I’ve read by the pool here, weave stories of women who spent their childhood summers playing on the beach. They wax poetic about their memories of seashells, sunscreen and sandcastles.
I’ve always romanticized the notion of spending summers at the beach, and each year that we come here and I watch my girls frolicking by the ocean, I think to myself, “It’s happening”.
These trips are laying the foundation for my girls to be women full of memories of summers spent on southern sand.
Grace has taken a while to warm up to the ocean and the sand, but this year she hit her stride.
Unlike last year, she’s no longer afraid of the salt water spray or irritated by sandy fingers and toes. My little Boo Bear could stay on the beach all day. We’ve run along the shoreline, dug our fingers deep into the sand, and hunted for seashells, shark’s teeth and slimey tubes of seaweed.
We go back down to the beach after dinner when the sun is flirting with the horizon and the cool breeze whips through our hair leaving it salty and tangled.
She races ahead of us, chasing families of sand pipers and squealing about their cute little footprints. She cautiously eyes the waves rolling onto the shore and she angles away from them timidly until she watches me head straight down to the hard-packed sand as the water floods over my red painted toes.
Once she sees that it’s safe and fun, caution is thrown to the wind and she chases me into the shallow water, splashing her sweet little flat feet as hard as she can.
Avery is tucked into the Ergo carrier snug against mama or daddy and she squints as the breeze blows the dark strands of her hair straight up off her sweet round head. She chomps on the straps of the carrier, seeking relief from the sharp pearly whites that are making their way through her tiny pink gums.
One day her doughy little thighs will propel her across the sand in pursuit of her big sister, the waves and the sand pipers.
I’m already excited to see both of my girls running along the beach as I follow along trying to memorize every detail of the scene.
Beach vacations are the sweetest reprieve from everyday life. No studying, no cleaning schedules to keep up with or projects to feel guilty about not tackling. The only agenda is rest, sun, fun, reading and spending time together.
I’d love to bottle up the relaxed vibe that we all sink into when we’re here. There’s less tension, fewer tantrums and more play.
I know that things are different when we “get away” but life is life and we follow ourselves everywhere we go, so I just know that a big part of it is perspective.
I view every day here as a gift.
And it is.
But every day anywhere is a gift.
In fact, each moment is a gift if we just look at it from the right angle.
Thousands of gifts every day from the One who made everything.
It all tells of His glory and His love for us and the joy of discovering all of these tiny gifts is ours for the taking.
I’m gonna chew on that over the next couple of weeks and practice making the gratitude a habit.
Then, every day, even the mundane ones at home in my Detroit suburb, can be a day at the beach.