Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Back to the Beach

Last week we were in sunny South Bethany Beach, DE for my family's summer vacation.  It's the first time Jon and I have joined in the festivities as a married couple.  In fact, the last time I went on vacation with my family was the first summer we were married.  Jon was out to sea for 4 months and I was a lonely little newlywed.  It wasn't that much fun.  Thankfully he's back on dry land these days, and we have two little tag-alongs.  So it's no surprise that we had a wonderful week!

My mom asked me if it still feels like vacation when you have a baby.  Of course!  I mean, I still had to get up in the night a few times, and maybe I wasn't able to finish out a round of Mexican Train because Jude was hungry.  Jon and I had to take turns going back to the house for the boys' afternoon nap, and naturally no one can satisfy Jack when he wants his Mommy, but it's still fun to get away and spend a few relaxing days on the beach. 

As you all know, my favorite way to relax is with a good book.  And I definitely relaxed last week.  I got through a stack of 6 books to show for it.  I took the boys to the local library a few days before we left, came home with a small pile of books, and announced to Jon that my goal for this vacation was to read every single one of them.  And I did.  And now that vacation is over and I'm sufficiently well-read I feel I can focus on other important things, like cleaning the toilets and sewing curtains for the bedroom.  Which is, what I feel, exactly what vacation is all about.  A rest from the real world, the day to day activities, so that you can get back to life with a renewed vigor.  *sigh* I miss it already.

When we first got married Jon as a bit surprised to heat that my side of the family spends the majority of our beach vacation ... on the beach.  Literally all day.  We wake up, eat breakfast, pack our lunch, head to the beach and don't come back 'til dinner time.  And actually, one day during the week we bring dinner to the beach so we can stay and hang out even longer.  We Winebergs really love the beach.

You'd think I'd have my fill of the sun and sand after living there for 3 years, but no.  This is different.  Living at the beach is not the same thing as vacationing there.  So I squeezed every drop of beachness that I could out of last week.  And Jack, well you would have thought the kid had never been to the ocean before.  He was the first one out the door each day, faithfully carrying his bag of small balls.  And the last one that wanted to leave.  He adds new meaning to the "kicking and screaming" kind of exit.

He just loved everything about that little corner of the world.  Digging holes in the sand, building castles (or knocking them down), attempting to play paddle ball, jumping in the waves, splashing in the water, finding sea shells, eating sand, taking hard naps, and then getting up to do it all over again.  Not to mention the hours of entertainment he provided to all who were watching him.

And of course, the other good thing about family vacations is all the people who watch and entertain Jack.  Whenever one person gets worn out there's another one ready to take over.  Even Jack's boundless energy can't outdo 12 adults. 

And Jude, well he was content to watch it all from his perch in the jogging stroller.  Occasionally he'd start to fuss if he was getting tired.  So we'd take him on a quick walk down the beach and soon he'd be sound asleep.  He's so awesome, and I'm not just saying that because he took it easy on me during vacation.  There were a few times where he wanted mom and only mom would do. 

But I don't mind.  He is definitely my snuggler.  And he knows it too.  I get him in one of his two favorite holding positions, and he immediately settles down as far as he can,  And just when you think he's comfortable and happy he starts nuzzling even further, until his tiny body has fit against mine, each adorable baby roll settling in to every curve.  Sometimes I think I could let go and he'd stay right where he is.  It's like he just can't get close enough to his mama. 

And I love it.  I love every last second of it.  Because now I have firsthand experience with how quickly they grow up.  Because now I know that the bigger they get they more they want to run.  And because I see how he continues to grow and I just don't know how much longer he's going to fit perfectly against my rib cage, nestled in my arms.  He's happy to be there and I'm all too happy to oblige. 

But that was then.  On vacation.  When the only thing I had to worry about was what page I was on.  Now we're back.  Back to having to put the baby down every once in a while so I can get something done.  Back to having to think up new ways to keep Jack busy.  Back to buying groceries, planning dinner and trying to keep everyone eating healthy.  Back to early bedtimes and no-haggle naps.  Back home and soon (for Jon) back to school.  But I'm already scheming ways that we can get back to the beach.

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