At the end of August we headed to the beach!
We were really lucky because F has family who own a beach house, and as it wasn’t being rented for a few days they generously offered it to us to stay in.
So we packed up the car and hit the road.
Our kids had been to the beach once or twice when they were too little to remember the experience, and too tender to spend any time in the sand and sun. But this time…we had a blast!
The house was close enough to walk to the beach each morning (and afternoon and evening)
enough with this walking, mama…let’s GO!
I managed to capture the look on S’s face when he saw the ocean
I’m pretty sure Laila didn’t stop to gaze at the ocean. She was feeling it’s pull in her entire being and knew she’d love it. Why stop to gaze?
There is something so blissful about being in an endlessly beautiful place where everything is an experience for your senses. I found myself completely letting go of any agenda, and just enjoying my family and the sounds and smells and feel of the beach.
My little ones were instantly happy and completely engrossed.
The water was cold and fizzy, and Sufyan expanded his view of the ocean to include SUPER FUN. It used to make him the teensiest bit nervous, but he conquered that nervousness this trip.
And Laila had to be reigned in or she would have been swimming out to see boats, dolphins, and the mermaids she was sure were there.
And then there was the “alone time” we planned for S and L. This is the time when they get a parent by themselves for some one on one time. I took S to the boardwalk and the only thing on his mind from the moment we parked our car was sugar. He wanted a treat. Now, I have nothing against a treat. But I do have to help narrow down the elaborate sugar-filled plans my kids dream up at treat time. So S had a choice: ice cream or a piece of candy. Not both. And in order to pick we went to see a candy store. Here he is deep in thought about his choices:
I confess I was hoping he would choose the ice cream, especially after seeing the stale piles of beach boardwalk bulk candy at the store.
It was depressing, actually, seeing the stacks of Hello Kittys and ancient gummy worms, the faded looking sweet tarts. And the smell: sugar and air conditioning. We were the only customers and the young adult behind the counter barely looked up from her texting. At any rate, S had a choice and he chose….
In the evenings and at rest time the beach house was stocked with games and crayons enough to keep everyone busy.
THANK YOU so much to our family who made this possible. My kids ask me all the time when we can go back! We needed this.
As I was practicing yesterday morning, I had a little a-ha moment. It was this:
I am whole. (*deep breath*)
(image from this site)
It had been a while since my last practice because I have been focusing on using my elliptical machine and a seated pranayama practice. My health challenges had led me to need some more vigorous exercise and I hadn’t yet found a way to do yoga asana, pranayama, meditation AND elliptical. More on the elliptical later. So anyway, there I was practicing yoga when all of a sudden a little veil dropped.
I have been so focused on the kids’ needs (using my heart and brain to parent), and my newest health challenges (using my energy and time to research, get to doctor appointments, and mentally noting all the various ways my symptoms of breathing challenges are occurring) and growing as a part of my yoga studio (using my body to teach, using my time to connect to my fellow teachers) that I had started to feel like a bunch of compartments. This one for mom, this one for teacher, this one for patient, this one for partner, this one for running the house…
I had become a divided person in my quest to do all I feel I need to do. But what is really important? Love. Becoming more and more centered in my highest self. Keeping the inner gaze focused even if the laundry piles up and the doctors need to see me and I am feeling the body as limited.
Moving with the breath, the breath moving me, the breath quieting my mind, the asana opening pranic channels, the mantra tuning my heart to my highest values and suddenly I was whole again. It was nothing short of amazing. A revelatory kind of amazing.
*remember to breathe, mama*