Friday, July 31, 2009

Kate's First Beach Day

By my measures of happiness---family, love, laughter, good food, nature, beauty---yesterday was an absolutely perfect day. Although Kate has seen beaches before, and although she frolicked on one on Easter during the beautiful evening tide, yesterday was Kate's first "beach day" of her life. We packed the umbrellas, sand toys, towels, chairs, boogie boards, sack lunches...and drove down to one of our favorite family-friendly and down-to-earth beaches, Oceanside. A little overcast at first, the beach offered our pick of spots as most of the other people there in the morning were the surfers. More people arrived as the day cleared, but we had a lovely spot. David and Mom also came along, and we really had fun. I hadn't actually been to a beach for a beach day or boogie boarding since the summer before getting pregnant with Kate.

I love the salt water baking into my skin, the feel of sun-and-sand hair, the peacefulness of being sun-happy. Ahhhhhhh. I had marinated chicken for fajitas the night before, and when we got home to my house, we had a feast of fajitas, paella, homemade corn tortillas with homemade butter (YUM!), and non-alcoholic sangria. We topped it all off with a bonfire and smores. That is my idea of an after-beach meal, and it definitely tasted better after a day of physical play.

Kate absolutely LOVED every second of the beach, and I loved being with her. Her delight is my delight; my heart soars when hers does. Our bond is forever, two essences becoming one from the moment of her conception. I am not sure how one becomes a mother without suddenly grasping profoundly the meaning of eternity. Every experience in life is better with Kate to share it. I love being her mommy and watching her absorb beauty and adventure and life and to meet her world with passion.

Now for the pictures!

"Lookin' for adventure/Head out on the highway..." Kate looks at the palm trees and ocean from the sun roof....

Playing in the sand with Seaweed Man (in her hand): "I walk around the sand/I am the Seaweed Man!" Credit to Amie for the character and rhyme.

Beach Baby smiles at her surroundings...

Uncle David and Katie play with her sand toys!

Here comes a wave!

Contrary to what most of the pictures will suggest, Katie actually wore her swim vest most of the time in the water. We went swimming for three long sessions; only in the first did she not have it on. Most of the pictures were taken in the first session. Kate loved her swim vest, and I definitely felt better about her having it on. The sideways current was pretty strong, even near shore...

Fearless Katie reaches for the tide... There is no question that she would have run all the way out into the sea on several occasions. I love her lack of trepidation, love it...but I also am mindful about teaching her about the power of forces bigger than ourselves while inspiring in her a healthy and cautious awe.

Playing in the sand is so much fun!

We loved our colorful spot!

Playing with my little girl!

Wading into the ocean with my Sweet Girl.

Frolicking in amazement....such a lovely moment.

Legend has it that mermaids send the froth to the shore...

We love the water forever!

People I love building our sandcastle and the moat.

Pure exuberance!

More, more! She would run with me down to the shore, saying "Swimming! Swimming!"

Helping my mom build drip-spires on our castle.

The world is for playing....