During our most recent conversation, my mom asked me what the highlight of my vacation was. But I couldn’t answer her. I didn’t know what to say.
After all, it wasn’t an extraordinarily exciting vacation. One day was much like the next. We woke up. Went to the beach. Came back home for Tori’s nap. Went back to the beach. Came back home for dinner. Went on a walk with the dog to the beach. That was it.
Pretty boring to talk about.
But then I realized I was thinking too big. The highlights were smaller. Simple moments that will live on in my memory.
Teaching Tori to “swim.”
One morning while playing in the quiet water of the bay beach, Tori looked at me and said, “down, Mommy.”
At first, I just laughed. “I can’t put you down, baby. You can’t swim.”
But she insisted. So I placed her belly down in the water and slowly released her until I was holding just her hands.
“Kick, Tori, kick!”
And she did, beating her little legs against the water as hard as she could.
“That’s it! You’re swimming!”
And the smile she beamed at me? Lit the entire morning sky.
Roaring at the waves.
On our first day at the beach, Brian and I excitedly plunged into the water, holding Tori’s hands. We stayed in what we thought were the shallows, but the waves soon proved us wrong. Not five seconds after Tori’s feet first touched the wet sand, a wave came barreling down at her, knocking her off her feet.
Naturally, she was scared, but we didn’t let that deter us. Instead we picked her up and headed for deeper water.
That was a mistake. The waves soon knocked us off our feet, and Tori was once again plunged under the salty water (don’t worry, she had a life preserver on). She came up screaming, and after we made it to shore, she made it clear she wanted nothing further to do with the ocean.
I couldn’t let that stand. After all, the ocean is just about my favorite thing in the world.
So the next day, I led her to the shore.
“There’s nothing to be scared of, Tori. The waves just need to know who’s boss. If you roar at them, they leave you alone.”
“Yeah. Like this. ROOOAAARRRR,” I shouted at the waves. “Now you try.”
“ROOOOAAAARRR,” she yelled at the next wave to lap at her feet. And the wave retreated.
“See? It worked!”
She clapped her hands and continued roaring with delight.
After that? She had no problem playing in the waves with me.
Dreaming with the hub.
The house we stayed in was for sale. So we spent the entire week dreaming up ways we could come up with the cash and move our life to the Alabama coast.
Among the contenders? A seascape painting business for him. A bestselling novel (or five) for me. Blogging mega-success. A new career ferrying the oil rig workers back and forth….the ideas were endless.
Every marriage needs a little room for dreaming.
So that was it. The highlights of my vacation. Thrilling? To anyone else, probably not. But to me? It was perfect.