“I walked far down the beach, soothed by the rhythm of the waves,
the sun on my bare back and legs, the wind and mist from the spray on my hair.”
― Anne Morrow Lindbergh,
― Anne Morrow Lindbergh,
The beach is my happy place. I can always feel myself relax and my body sigh when I get to the beach. Mark and I dream of living at the beach and every time I visit the beach I never want to leave. Last week we went to the beach with Mark's family and this annual trip was one of the best so far!
Thanks to my amazing mother in law, we stayed in a house that was right on the beach. Literally, right on the beach. Her wish for her 80th birthday was to go to the beach with all her kids, their spouses and children. So, she rented the house and invited us all to join her for the week. It was so fun to all be together and celebrate her birthday together.
This last picture of Grace is one of my favorite ever. Grace does not love the beach. Every time we go, she has to get used to it all over again. I never realized just how overwhelming the beach could be until I took a child with sensory issues. The ocean is loud, the is sand hot and hard on your feet, the sun bright, the sea gulls noisy and they swoop down overhead, and then there are the voices and radios of the other beach goers. While I always feel soothed by it, I have found it can all be a bit much for someone who gets overwhelmed easily.
This year Grace warmed up pretty quickly and spent a lot of time on the beach. We took daily walks with her and every time she avoided getting her feet wet. One day, we took a walk with Grace and then stopped to talk to Mark's sister Melanie and her husband Mike. We were all talking at the waters edge and watching the boys jump waves and catch fish in a net.
After a little while, Grace started walking into the water all by herself. She would walk in as the waves went out and then walk back out when she heard the waves coming towards her. It was so amazing to watch, we were all kept saying 'did you see that?'. Mark's mom, sister Melissa and our nephew Mitchell were on the balcony of the house and saw her walking into the water. They kept saying to each other, they are not close enough to her, she's going to get taken out by a wave. We were closer than it looked to them and could easily have gotten to her before she got taken out by a wave. But we wanted to see her explore and see how far out she would go. She was smiling and happy the whole time.
I love watching Grace experience new things and grow and stretch outside of her comfort zone. It is always such a great teaching moment for me to remember that personal growth and change happens when we take risks and challenge ourselves to try / do new things.
We had such a great week, we are already talking about going next year! I shared many of these pictures on my instagram account. Check it out here if you're not following me already.