Friday, May 24, 2013

What's The First Thing You Want To Do At The Beach?

This is the question that our almost-four-year-old granddaughter, Ruby, asked me while we were still hundreds of  miles away from our Florida destination.  "What do you want to do first, Grandmom?"

It was a question dripping with anticipation. . . . in her wide eyes, raised shoulders, in the way she leaned forward to catch my answer. Of all the millions of fun things we're going to do . . . "What do you want to do FIRST?"

Ruby's Mama (daughter, Elizabeth) and Papa (Ben) invited me to join them for a week at their rental house at Grayton Beach.  Like last year, my R.S.V.P. left no doubt. . .
"Wouldn't miss it."
"Sign me up."
"Retirement is wonderful!"

But I had not given any thought to what I wanted to do first.  Children are quick to teach us that these kinds of questions don't require contemplation.  No adult, "Well, let me think about that and get back to you" nonsense.

Children are all about spontaneity.
Ruby was waiting for my answer, but she wouldn't wait long.
So, I said the first thing that came to mind.

"I want to feel the warm sand squish between my toes."

"Sand between your toes!" she said, in such disbelief, that I couldn't tell whether she thought it was the silliest - or yuckiest - idea she had ever heard.

Once the words were out of my mouth, though, I knew they were true.  My first steps on a warm, sandy beach, trigger what I can only describe as a "melting" response.

Starting with my shoulders 
  traveling through my arms 
     down my legs
       out my toes, 
      tenseness loosens, 
like a puddle of butter
     at my feet.

                                           The earth absorbs it, takes it away, says, "Relax."

However, when you're three, going on four, who needs to hear about relaxation?
So I ask Ruby, "What do you want to do first?
"Catch a crab!" she exclaims. No hesitation whatsoever.

                                                      And with the help of Papa,

                                               who scours the bottom for a crab, any crab,
                                                                 hermit or high society. . .

Ruby gets her crab!


For Grandmother and Granddaughter,
Life’s a Beach, 
no matter what you want to do 

*Sign credits -
"Watchout for crabs"-
"Sandy toes"- 


  1. Beautiful sandy beaches besieged by hermit crabs, curious minds and lovely ladies (and Ben)! Sounds like a sandy slice of heaven!

  2. Lovely poetry and all true, especially the lovely ladies! :-) Thanks!

  3. I've been thinking about your post. :>

    I think it's also telling in the adult/child comparison that you chose something that was both wonderful and attainable.

    Miss Ruby chose something that she thought was wonderful...and believes that anything is attainable. Catch a crab? Of course!

    Hooray for the crab-catchers--the ones who want to catch one and the ones who spend hours making it possible--in our lives who help us keep believing. <3

    (This post also made me look into taking Lexi away to a beach next week...but ballet recital rehearsals made it impossible. See--a powerful post!)

  4. Thanks, Kate, for sharing your thoughts! I really like your line "Hooray for the crab-catchers. . in our lives who help us keep believing." We certainly need those people who believe in us and help make our dreams come true.
    Hope you and Lexi make it to the beach soon. I wonder what her first thing to do would be.

    1. Lexi *loves* the beach. She generally runs to where the waves are just lapping up on the sand and watches and watches. Then, we settle in to a round of sand castling.

      BUT...our last beach visit she was a stronger swimmer and was delighted to be in the water up to her chin jumping in the waves. Our beach experience might have made a drastic shift that day.

      (Yep. I asked her and her reply was, "Play in the sea!" We've shifted.)


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