It had been weeks since we enjoyed a family trip to the beach (it's been chilly down here in SW FL). We finished up some morning things around the house, stopped at Big Lots for a huge bag of sand toys and took the 5 minute drive to Manasota Key.
The Gulf of Mexico is frigid, but it doesn't stop the kids from jumping right in. Abel would dive right out and float away if I let him, no fear. We tried building sand castles, but no sooner did I pack the sand and flip the bucket over did one of the boys come to stomp it. And I probably had one of those Mother of the Year moments, where after they made one, I stomped it with a "see, it sucks, don't do it to other people!" Which turned into a game of trying to see who could stomp the other persons first.
And then before we knew it, the big game was about to start, so off to the showers we went. There has to be a better way of doing this. I always pack clean dry clothes so the kids can wash off and change, but getting three kids to rinse at the same time, while trying to rush, because who knows what kind of perverts are lurking turns into chaos. And then by the time they are washed, dried and clothed. There they go, running around the bathroom tower playing catch me if you can. Which almost always ends with a crying mess from someone face first on the cement, or (in this case) because Craig is dragging them to the car while they plead through tears "I pwomise, I will listen. Just let me walk by myself. I will listen this time. Just give me the chance"
And while I know, on that long dreadful walk back to the car, listening to screaming kids, watching strangers stare, feeling the sand rub places it shouldn't, we both think why the hell do we put ourselves through this nonsense… We would rewind back to a few hours before and do it all over again.