Dave and I took the boys to the beach today. It’s an easy drive – about an hour – so it’s good day trip for us, but since we’re not huge “beach people,” we only end up doing it a few times a summer.
My kids are lucky to have us both along on days like today. Dave is the parent who’s great about taking them out to swim in the waves. I’m definitely more cautious and have a healthy respect for the ocean. So I’m the perfect parent for the kid who wants to stand in ankle-deep water and collect pretty rocks and shells. I’m also the perfect parent for the kid who wants to hear, “Be careful! Stay where I can see you! Don’t go too far out!”
I’m generally also the more prepared parent. I’m good for a fantastic sunscreen application before we leave, additional sunscreen in the beach bag, along with frisbees, sunglasses, as well as a supply of snacks and drinks. Today I brought along spray water bottles, which I was especially delighted with, since it was 90 degrees AT the beach, and the sand felt like hot lava.
If Dave took the boys to the beach without me, they’d probably stop for Slurpees on the way there, and Dave would bring his wallet.
I like to think that the boys are learning some important lessons by having us both along for the ride.
#1. Take chances. Go swim in the deep end.
#2. It’s nice to have someone who wants to keep an eye on you.
#3. If you feel like staying in the shallow end today, find someone to stand there with you and hold your hand.
#4. While I don’t believe in the phrase “you can never be too prepared” (because I think you CAN – I believe in being “just right” prepared, because there’s only so much stuff I want to lug around), being prepared can save you a lot of time, hassle and money.
#5. Respect the choice of the person who’s swimming all the way out, and the one who’s hanging by the edge.
And don’t forget the sunscreen, even on your feet.