Special summer momentsPosted: 28/08/2014
As August comes to a close, it feels like summer is well and truly over. ToddlerGirl asked me if it was autumn today as we headed to our local park – with grey skies, a faint hint of rain in the air and leaves swirling around us, I had to admit it felt like it!
But what a summer it’s been… We had a wonderful family holiday to Majorca at the beginning (which seems a lifetime ago now) and have enjoyed a few day trips out here and there. Perhaps not our most active time – we’ve been doing a lot close to home and in our garden, thanks to me being heavily pregnant – but 2014 will always be a stand out summer. It’s the summer our little girl turned three. And it’s the summer we welcomed her sister into our world.
One of my favourite memories will be a simple family afternoon out to the beach. Our ‘new’ family of four, adjusting to life with a little baby and a toddler. The act of getting out the house together has been a pretty major achievement in these first three weeks. Our beach trip was no different; we congratulated ourselves on making it out by lunchtime and then managed to spend an hour driving around one of our nearby coastal towns trying to find a parking space! ToddlerGirl was woken from napping by her grizzly sister and, hungry, hot and tired, began a fairly epic tantrum when she realised she could see the sea but couldn’t actually get to it! Not the most fun start and definitely not what we’d had in mind.
If at first you don’t succeed… carry on driving up the coast! Bribing ToddlerGirl with some crunchy carrot sticks (crisp snacks, not the healthy kind) we made it to a different, more staid but altogether calmer, seaside resort. Of course, by the time we arrived BabyGirl needed feeding, as did we, so we ended up having a ‘car picnic’ facing a brick wall in the car park – although, funnily enough, ToddlerGirl quite enjoyed this, amusing herself by turning the hazard lights on and off and pressing other, random buttons on the dashboard.
Two hours after setting off, we made it out of the car and onto the beach. Hooray! The sun was shining, it felt glorious to breathe in the fresh sea air, I was carrying BabyGirl in the sling and revelling in being hands free, and best of all, the four of us were out together.
The sunshine sparkled on the sea and ToddlerGirl was happily engaged in finding stones to throw into the water, cheering when they sunk with a satisfying ‘plop’. We found a jellyfish and some clever beach art. We ate ice cream. We soaked up the normality of Getting Out Of The House. It didn’t matter that we had spent so long getting there, or that it wasn’t the bucket and spade, picnic on the beach outing we had originally envisaged. It was one of those summer trips I will always remember, a moment of complete contentment amidst the sleep deprivation and the learning how to juggle two children’s needs.
There is something about getting to the coast that I find so good for the soul. We headed home, batteries recharged. Then ToddlerGirl and the husband sat at the table to make a brilliant beach collage picture, inspired by the tips from Steph Tilley over on the Centre Parcs blog for preserving summer memories. The finished artwork has pride of place on our noticeboard and makes me smile every time I look at it, remembering our lovely afternoon.
It was BabyGirl’s first trip to the beach (although she slept through the entire stay!) and it was time for us to be a family and have fun with ToddlerGirl. A truly special summer moment :)
This is my entry to the Center Parcs and Tots 100 August challenge. If I’m chosen, I would like to visit Longleat Village.