In the early years she spent so much time on the beach with her children. They were young, time was ample, they played for hours and hours on the white sand under the hot sun. Surf camps, boogie boards, catching minnows in pails, wallowing in tide pools.
She watched their delight from the comfort of her beach chair, slightly reclined, always a good novel in hand. From beneath her visor, she’d watch them – in and out of the water, amusing themselves without needing her – it was blissful for all of them.
Of course she took so many photos; some things don’t change.
But they did.
It was last summer when they started to balk at her beach suggestion. They didn’t want to go as often as she did. It was this summer when she noticed a whole new crop of children, with parents she didn’t even recognize, fanning out around her on the beach. Where did they come from? she wondered. She looked up from her novel and saw these families, and something moved from deep inside her: that was her, but a few years ago. Those times she so enjoyed – her children romping about her on a white sand beach in a place she lived, it wasn’t a vacation – and now… how did the years pass so soon? How abrupt it seems, to be sitting alone on this same beach; her children, not grown, but grown enough to be interested in other activities.
Not the beach.
She knows that these next few years will slip by even more quickly and she wants to grasp them and make them her children again; to be together, just her and them, without a friend(s) along to make it bearable more fun.
Not that she minds the friend(s) along. But sometimes it’s nice when it’s just them again. Rare, but nice.
Today was one of those rare days.
And she felt happy. Soaked it in. Swam with them and watched them play; just the three of them. They still got game.