On Saturday we had our first "Mom Beach Day", and I hope it becomes a yearly tradition.
During the summer we spend a lot of our time at the beach. I loved the ocean when I was a kid, and my children love it as well. There are endless ways to spend your time: running from the waves, looking at tidepools, collecting seashells, building sandcastles, chasing the seagulls... The beach is the only place where my children just play! I have to remind them to eat lunch, to drink some water, to put on some sunscreen.
And though I love going to the beach with my children, I can't say it's entirely relaxing for me. I'm always watching to make sure the kids stay close, or that they aren't about to be knocked over by a wave, or that they don't accidentally shovel sand on the person sitting next to us.
This year I sent out an invitation for "Mom Beach Day". It said something like "Join us for a child free afternoon at the beach. Read a book. Go boogie boarding. Plug in your iPod and relax! You don't have to worry that your kids are drowning!". We started at 3 PM, so that people could still spend the majority of the day with their families (and attend soccer games, etc.). Everyone brought something to eat for dinner and a little snack to share.
It felt strange to walk down to the beach with nothing but my beach chair and a good book. My husband even took Baby M (who turns three months old this week!). And I loved seeing all my friends arrive, one by one, without children in tow. I can't say I got much reading done, I spent most of my time just chatting.. it's so much easier to have a conversation when little hands aren't pulling you to the swings or reaching in your purse for crackers.
When it started to get a little bit chilly, we built a bonfire and kept on talking. And at around 8 PM, JR called and reminded me I needed to head back (to feed my baby, to kiss my children goodnight). And very happily I came home.